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Yellowstone volcano gas WARNING: USGS warns of poisonous gas emissions in National Park
YELLOWSTONE volcano is the subject of much speculation over whether there will be a major eruption in the future - but now National Park’s authorities have a more pressing issue to worry about as experts warned of toxic gases venting from the supervolcano. Yellowstone National Park is home to thousands of hot springs and geysers spewing clouds of mostly harmless, rotten-smelling gases. But in the deeper parts of the Yellowstone wilderness where tourists are told not to stray, toxic fumes of lethal gas are powerful enough to kill. USGS scientists studying the Yellowstone volcano have warned of the ever-present danger in the latest issue of the weekly Yellowstone Caldera Chronicles. USGS expert Jennifer Lewicki, who is based in California’s Menlo Park, said dozens of Yellowstone animals have dropped dead over the years as a result of inhaling toxic fumes. The two killers are poisonous levels of carbon dioxide (CO2) and hydrogen sulphide (H2S), which are concentrating around ground levels. Most of the gases emitted by Yellowstone’s network of hydrothermal pipes are harmless water vapour gases. But hiding in these emissions could be concentrations of toxic gases, which have proven to be lethal to animals. CO2 is particularly dangerous because it is an odourless and colourless gas. H2S on the other hand is easier to spot thanks it to its distinctive smell of rotting-eggs but the gas is also colourless and flammable. Both gases typical pool around ground levels because they are heavier than air. This can be absolutely lethal to animal grazing in the parks fields with their noses close to the ground. Ms Lewicki wrote: “In most circumstances, wind will dilute carbon dioxide and hydrogen sulphide to low concentrations that do not threaten the health of people and animals. In certain very stable atmospheric conditions, though, these relatively heavy gases can accumulate in low-lying areas and pose a serious hazard. “ This appears to have been the case in 2004 when a number of dead bison were found in the Norris Geyser Basin following a cold and still night. The animals bore no physical markings of a predator attack and the animals appeared to have died suddenly - and as a group. Yellowstone officials later surmised the atmospheric conditions on the night allowed for the toxic gases to pool around the animals’ grazing area, slowly killing the wild beasts. A similar incident was observed more than 100 years earlier in the aptly named Death Gulch part of the park were eight bear carcasses were discovered in 1897. Hawaii Volcano Observatory founder, geologist Thomas Jaggar, speculated upon the discovery the animals died as a result of inhaling CO2 and H2S. The US Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) warns H2S is an irritating agent to the eyes and respiratory tract. When exposed to H2S, the gas can cause damage to the nervous system, trigger unconsciousness and cause lung oedema. Inhaling the gas can be lethal and immediate medical atte
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Кто запер людей в кинотеатре ТЦ в Кемерово
В Заводском суде города предварительно допросили Игоря Полозиненко, гендиректора фирмы "Системный интегратор", занимавшейся разработкой системы противопожарной безопасности для сгоревшего торгового центра "Зимняя вишня". Фигурант дела заявил, что в кинозалах ТЦ всегда запирали двери. Полозиненко отметил, что на момент начала пожара система была полностью исправна. Он утверждает, что прокатчики боролись с "зайцами", которые могли бесплатно посмотреть фильм. "У прокатчиков была позиция закрывать двери на ключ во время сеансов, чтобы люди не заходили", – цитирует мужчину Life.ru. При этом гендиректор "Системного интегратора" назвал причиной трагедии человеческий фактор. "Человек выключил систему оповещения, заблокировали двери", – отметил он. Также он рассказал, что пожарную сигнализацию кто-то отключил вручную за несколько минут до того, как пламя разгорелось. "Почему? Не могу ответить за другого человека. До этого техническая сигнализация не отключалась", – сообщил Игорь Полозиненко. Ранее показания следователям дал охранник Сергей Антюшин. Именно его подозревают в том, что он отключил сигнализацию. Мужчина говорил, что она часто срабатывала самопроизвольно, гидранты не работали, а здание ТЦ было захламлено. Однако, по его словам, начальство на доклады о подобных проблемах не реагировало. Вопрос о мере пресечения для Игоря Полозиненко суд отложил на 72 часа. Также под стражей на это время до следующего рассмотрения останутся гендиректор "Зимней вишни" Надежда Судденок, технический директор ТЦ Георгий Соболев и Александр Никитин, отвечавший непосредственно за пожарную сигнализацию. Напомним, пожар в кемеровском ТЦ "Зимняя вишня" произошел 25 марта. По последним данным, погибли 64 человека, в том числе 41 ребенок. Следственный комитет возбудил уголовное дело по трем статьям, задержаны несколько человек. Вероятными причинами возгорания назвали замыкание электропроводки и поджог.
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Hothouse Earth: Humanity under threat as scientists predict NINE catastrophes brewing
THE EARTH will reach temperatures not fit for human survival in just a few decades, according to scientists who predict nine catastrophes are coming as part of what they call Hothouse Earth. Climate change will see temperatures rise 4C-5C higher than regular temperatures causing a "severe risks for health, economies, political stability, and ultimately, the habitability of the planet for humans”. The doomsday warning comes from a team of international university researchers, who said global targets to keep temperatures from rising 2C are not tough enough to stop what is coming. Writing in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, scientists said a Hothouse Earth would lead to rising sea levels, increased methane and carbon dioxide and melting permafrost. Professor Johan Rockstrom, a leading member of the research team from the University of Stockholm, Sweden, said several "tipping points" will act as like a "row of dominoes", occurring one after the other and posing catastrophic risk to climate change. He said: “Once one is pushed over, it pushes Earth towards another. It may be very difficult or impossible to stop the whole row of dominoes from tumbling over. "Places on Earth will become uninhabitable if Hothouse Earth becomes the reality." Catastrophic climate change will cause sea levels to rise by 60 metres, threatening residents inhabiting coastal towns. Every year, the Earth's forests and oceans absorb over 4.5 billion tonnes of carbon, which would otherwise end up in the air and increase global temperatures. However, a Hothouse Earth could turn the world's natural carbon storage systems or "sinks" into powerful greenhouse gas emitters, significantly rising temperatures. The ‘tipping point’ dangers were identified as: Thawing permafrost, The release of methane trapped on the ocean floor, weakening land and ocean carbon sinks, Increased carbon dioxide production by ocean bacteria, Amazon rainforest die-back, Coniferous forest die-back, Reduced northern hemisphere snow cover, Loss of Arctic summer sea ice, Reduced Antarctic sea ice, Melting polar ice sheets. The team of scientists wrote: "Our analysis suggests that the Earth system may be approaching a planetary threshold that could lock in a continuing rapid pathway toward much hotter conditions - Hothouse Earth. "This pathway would be propelled by strong, intrinsic, biogeophysical feedbacks difficult to influence by human actions, a pathway that could not be reversed, steered or substantially slowed. "Where such a threshold might be is uncertain, but it could be only decades ahead at a temperature rise of (around) 2C above pre-industrial." The only way to avoid a potential Hothouse Earth would be an active approach by scientists and environmentalists, to take "deep cuts" towards reducing greenhouse gas emissions as well as removing carbon dioxide from the atmosphere using technological advancements. Climate researcher Dr Phil Williamson, from the Univ
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Russian Astronomers Warn of Green 'Incredible Hulk' Comet in Night Sky
Skywatchers in the northern hemisphere have been watching a green comet bursting with light that keeps growing brighter as it nears the sun. Officially named PanSTARRS (C/2017 S3) or — more prosaically — the 'Incredible Hulk,' due to its size, the comet is expected to reach its closest point to the Earth on August 7, Russian Media outlet Izvestia reported, citing Russian comet and meteorite researcher Yevgeniy Dmitriyev. "The size of the gas-dust cloud of the celestial body is at least twice the size of the largest planet in the Solar System: Jupiter," Dmitriyev said, cited by Izvestia. The Incredible Hulk was reportedly discovered September 2017. The space giant is surrounded by 260,000-kilometer-long cloud of dust and gas, which is electrified by the solar wind, Dmitiriyev said. Russian researcher says that the Incredible Hulk will miss our planet, pointing out its closest pass to Earth will come at some 113.4 million kilometers. However, its giant cloud of space dust could potentially cause electromagnetic disturbances in the Earth's atmosphere, endangering vital processes. "When the Earth passes through the gas-dust environment of a bright comet, a giant lightning may occur which generates a powerful cometary electromagnetic pulse that can be ruinous for civilization," Dmitriyev said, cited by Izvestia. Astronomers say that PanSTARRS (C/2017 S3) will reach its perihelion, or the closest point to the sun, on Aug. 16. It will be prowling just within the orbit of Mercury, where its nearness to the sun will make it a prime target for a blast of solar radiation. Meanwhile, its proximity to the sun will make it almost impossible to be seen in mid-August. Astronomers say the best times to spot the green comet in the northern hemisphere are on the first few days of the month, particularly August 7 and 8. In the southern hemisphere, there is less chance to spot the comet, although it may be visible for a brief period before sunrise on August 15 after it turns away from our star, The Tech Times reported, citing Austrian astronomer Michael Jaeger. However, Russian astronomer Stanislav Short was quoted by Russian media outlets as saying that Incredible Hulk, despite its "threatening approach" toward Earth and its tail of "giant electrified gas cloud," poses no danger as the comet broke up last month, and adding that such space objects have passed by our planet many times in the past without apocalyptic consequences.
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Eclipse 2018: What time will the partial solar eclipse be visible on Saturday?
STARGAZERS will be treated to a packed weekend of celestial wonders, as the Perseids meteor shower lights up the night sky on Saturday and Sunday night and the partial solar eclipse ends the eclipse season on Saturday. What time is the partial eclipse? A partial solar eclipse happens when the Moon, Sun and Earth do not align in a perfectly straight line and the Moon casts only the outer part of its shadow, the penumbra on Earth. Around 35 percent of all solar eclipses are partial solar eclipses, but they occur more often than total or annular solar eclipses. The last partial solar eclipse appeared on July 13, although it was only visible over the ocean between Australia ad Antarctica. What time is the solar eclipse? The August 11 partial eclipse will be visible in many countries in the Northern Hemisphere, although not in the US. The eclipse will begin over the North Atlantic Ocean and Greenland, before heading toward Iceland, northern Europe, most of northern Russia and part of northern China. The eclipse will officially begin at 9.02am BST (8.02am UTC) when the moon first appears to make contact with the sun’s disk. However maximum eclipse will happen at 10.46am BST (9.46am UTC). The wide path of this eclipse means more people will be able to catch it, compared to the July 13 partial solar eclipse. But stargazers should make the most of this eclipse as it is the last eclipse - lunar or solar - of 2018. A unique aspect of partial eclipses is that the sun is closest to the horizon at the point of the greatest eclipse. This is the reason why the areas where you can see a partial eclipse tend to be near the poles Eclipses happen approximately every 173 days during what is called an eclipse season. According to NASA, twice a year, the moon’s orbit crosses paths with the sun’s orbit for 34 days when up to three eclipses can happen. The first eclipse of 2018 was the super blue blood moon on January 31, but the first partial solar eclipse was on February 15. This was followed by two eclipses during the month of July. The August 11 partial eclipse marks the end of the eclipse season, the next eclipse will not be until January 21, 2019 which is also a supermoon. According to NASA, the moon will cover approximately 73 percent of the sun when the eclipse is at its peak. Stargazers will need special eclipse glasses to get the best viewing experience and to protect your eyes. Partial solar eclipses can be very dangerous to look at with the naked, eye, accordion to the American Astrological Society (AAS). The AAS recommends getting special-purpose sun filtering glasses and not looking at the sun through binoculars, a camera lens or a telescope even with the eclipse glasses on because of the strength of the sun’s light.
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Inside Opportunity: As dust storm continues to rage Oppy sleeps
Our Opportunity Mars Exploration Rover, situated at the Red Planet’s Perseverance Valley located on the western inner rim of Endeavour Crater, continues to remain silent due to the ongoing global dust storm.The storm has placed ‘Oppy’ into a mode designed to protect her in instances just like the one the golf cart-sized rover is currently enduring.This storm began its march across the face of the planet on May 30.The last contact we had with Opportunity was on Sol 5111 (June 10, 2018), we now think that it is likely Opportunity has experienced a low-power fault and has put herself to sleep.She should wake when the skies eventually clear.We began listening for Opportunity on sol 5112.There has been no signal from Opportunity during any of the potential fault windows up until this point.A formal listening strategy has been in progress since June and will continue for the next several months.It has now been 7 weeks with no contact from Opportunity.As of our latest Opportunity status report – the storm has not abated.However there are some preliminary signs that indicate the storm may have peaked.Even so it will most likely still be a couple months (possibly late September) before the skies above the Red Planet’s surface clear enough for us to get the precious power that we have been starved of since early June.Unfortunately, more storms could be in store because we are nearly three months away from the start of the summer season (October 16), which is typically when dust storms occur.We continue to believe that our thermal situation is good based on previous experience and current projections.I remain optimistic on our chances of Opportunity’s survival.Hopefully we can get back to the business of exploring the mysteries of Perseverance Valley.Once we get our power levels back we will continue our work on the enigmatic geomorphology of Perseverance Valley and the various rock types located on its floor.We are now about halfway down the length of Perseverance Valley, which extends some 525 feet (160 meters).Our Athena Science Team is still trying to explain how this feature formed.The concepts regarding its formation have started healthy debates among team members on how much, if any, liquid water was involved in the formation and evolution of Perseverance Valley.For those of us back on Earth the next several days (July 27-31) will be “prime time” to look up at the planet Mars in the night sky, as it will be at it’s brightest and closest to Earth.This will be the nearest approach of Mars to Earth in 15 years and it will only be a meager 36 million miles (57,936,384 kilometers) away.The average between Earth and Mars is 140 million miles (225,308,160 kilometers).The actual closest approach will occur on July 31 when Mars is 35.8million miles (56,327,040 kilometers) away from Earth.The Red Planet will not be this close again until October 6, 2020 when it will be 39 million miles (62,764,416 kilometers) away.So if you are able, look up at Mars these next
Scientist are studying an anomaly in Earth's magnetic field - the South Atlantic Anomaly - which they say plays a unique role in pole reversal of Earth's magnetic field. Researchers at Rochester University have published a paper in Geophysical Research Letters where based on new data collected in Africa they have extended their record of Earth’s magnetic field back thousands of years to the first millennium. The latest data is said to be important missing piece required to better understand and explain the recent and ongoing changes in Earth's magnetic field, most prominently in an area in the Southern Hemisphere known as the South Atlantic Anomaly. The researchers discovered that the magnetic field in the region fluctuated from 400-450 AD, from 700-750 AD, and again from 1225-1550 AD. This South Atlantic Anomaly, therefore, is the most recent display of a recurring phenomenon in Earth’s core beneath Africa that then affects the entire globe. One obvious question that comes up is whether Earth's magnetic poles will reverse anytime soon. To this the research team says no! Researchers say their findings do not necessarily portend a complete pole reversal. They acknowledge that this unusual behavior has occurred at least a couple of times before the past 160 years, and is part of a bigger long-term pattern, however, it’s simply too early to say for certain whether this behavior will lead to a full pole reversal. The magnetic field is generated by swirling, liquid iron in Earth’s outer core. It is here, roughly 1800 miles beneath the African continent, that a special feature exists. Seismological data has revealed a denser region deep beneath southern Africa called the African Large Low Shear Velocity Province. The region is located right above the boundary between the hot liquid outer core and the stiffer, cooler mantle. Sitting on top of the liquid outer core, it may sink slightly, disturbing the flow of iron and ultimately affecting Earth’s magnetic field. A major change in the magnetic field would have wide-reaching ramifications; the magnetic field stimulates currents in anything with long wires, including the electrical grid. Changes in the magnetic field could therefore cause electrical grid failures, navigation system malfunctions, and satellite breakdowns. A weakening of the magnetic field might also mean more harmful radiation reaches Earth—and trigger an increase in the incidence of skin cancer. Even if a complete pole reversal is not in the near future, however, the weakening of the magnetic field strength is intriguing to scientists, says one of the researchers. The possibility of a continued decay in the strength of the magnetic field is a societal concern that merits continued study and monitoring, the researcher adds.
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Astrophysicists discover that ultrahot planets have starlike atmospheres
However, a new study just published by a research team that includes Arizona State University astrophysicist Michael Line, an assistant professor in ASU's School of Earth and Space Exploration, proposes an explanation—that these gas-rich planets have compositions that are basically normal, going by what is known about planet formation.What's different about them is that the atmospheres on their daysides look more like the atmosphere of a star than a planet."Interpreting the spectra of the hottest of these Jupiter-like planets has posed a thorny puzzle for researchers for years," Line said.The biggest puzzle is why water vapor appears to be missing from these worlds' atmospheres, when it is abundant in similar but slightly cooler planets.According to the new study, ultrahot Jupiters do in fact possess the ingredients for water (hydrogen and oxygen atoms).But due to the strong radiation on the planet's daysides, temperatures there go high enough that water molecules are completely torn apart.With ultrahot Jupiters orbiting extremely close to their stars, one side of the planet faces the star perpetually, while the nightside is gripped by endless darkness.Dayside temperatures reach between 3,600 to 5,400 degrees Fahrenheit (2,000 to 3,000 degrees Celsius), ranking ultrahot Jupiters among the hottest exoplanets known.And nightside temperatures are around 1,800 degrees Fahrenheit cooler.Among the growing catalogue of planets outside our solar system—known as exoplanets—ultrahot Jupiters have stood out as a distinct class for about a decade."The daysides of these worlds are furnaces that look more like a stellar atmosphere than a planetary atmosphere," said Vivien Parmentier, an astrophysicist at Aix Marseille University in France and lead author of the new study published in Astronomy and Astrophysics."In this way, ultrahot Jupiters stretch out what we think planets should look like." While telescopes like Spitzer and Hubble can gather some information about the daysides of ultrahot Jupiters, their nightsides are difficult for current instruments to probe.The new paper proposes a model for what might be happening on both the illuminated and dark sides of these planets.The model is based largely on observations and analysis from three recently published studies, coauthored by Parmentier, Line, and others, that focus on three ultrahot Jupiters, WASP-103b, WASP-18b, and HAT-P-7b.The new study suggests that fierce winds driven by heating may blow the torn-apart water molecules into the planets' cooler nightside hemispheres.There the atoms can recombine into molecules and condense into clouds, all before drifting back into the dayside to be ripped apart again.Hot Jupiters were the first widely discovered kind of exoplanet, starting back in the mid-1990s.These are cooler cousins to ultrahot Jupiters, with dayside temperatures below 3,600 degrees Fahrenheit (2,000 Celsius).Water has proven to be common in their atmospheres, and thus when ultrahot Jupiters be
Eclipse 2018: What time is the August partial solar eclipse? When does the eclipse start?
A PARTIAL solar eclipse later this week will bite into the glowing face of the Sun – but what time will the eclipse start and when should stargazers look up to the skies? The Sun will partially disappear behind the Moon on Saturday, August 11, when the two heavenly bodies cross paths. The partial eclipse will be exclusively visible in the Northern Hemisphere, where the Sun could be obscured by up to 20 percent depending on where you live. The eclipse comes just 15 days after the splendid Blood Moon total lunar eclipse peaked on the night of July 27. The August eclipse was also preceded by another partial solar eclipse on Friday, July 13, but it was very limited in visibility. So when exactly will the August eclipse kick off this weekend? The eclipse will play out in the morning hours on Saturday, starting just after 8am Universal Time (UT) and wrapping up three hours later. The Moon will start to bite into the face of the Sun at around 8.02am UT (9.02am BST) but the exact time will vary depending on your location. The eclipse will peak, or reach maximum eclipse, around 9.46am UT (10.46am BST). The last location to wave the eclipse good-bye will see the solar spectacle end at 11.30am UT (12.30pm BST). On a global scale, the eclipse will last just under three hours and 30 minutes. You can find out if the eclipse will be visible over your area by clicking here: Eclipse 2018: Where will the eclipse be visible? As with any other eclipse, the August event will start in one location and end in another – just as the Sun rises in the east and settles in the west due to the Earth’s eastward spin. NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center explained: “Earth rotates or spins toward the east, and that's why the Sun, Moon, planets, and stars all rise in the east and make their way westward across the sky. “Suppose you are facing east - the planet carries you eastward as it turns, so whatever lies beyond that eastern horizon eventually comes up over the horizon and you see it.” The August eclipse will start out over the icy North Atlantic and Greenland before it moves in a northeast direction. At the same time, the Moon’s shadow will appear to move over Iceland and parts of Northern Europe and the North Pole. The eclipse will then appear over parts of Asia and Russia, with some visibility in China, North and South Korea and Mongolia. This means stargazers in the USA and the UK will miss out on the eclipse entirely. But the good news is less than six months from now, on the night of January 21, 2019, another total lunar eclipse of the Moon will grace the night skies. The total eclipse Blood Moon will peak in the Western Hemisphere, covering the UK, North and South America and Northwest Africa with totality.
Ice sheets of the last ice age seeded the ocean with silica
Silica is needed by a group of marine algae (the microscopic plants of the oceans) called diatoms, who use it to build their glassy cell walls (known as frustules).These plankton take up globally significant amounts of carbon – they remove carbon dioxide from the atmosphere via photosynthesis, and act as a natural carbon sink when they die and fall to the bottom of the ocean – and form the base of the marine food chain.The study published today in the journal Nature Communications suggests that glacial meltwater, both in the present and during past ice ages, contains silica that could be useful in sustaining the growth of diatoms in the oceans around ice sheets, which are home to economically important fisheries and marine life.The researchers show that the silica in glacial meltwaters from the Greenland Ice Sheet has a distinctive isotopic signature, different to the that found in other rivers.Researchers have previously found that diatoms and sponges (which build their skeletons from silica) gradually buried in ocean sediments since the last ice age have a different silicon isotopic signature to their modern-day relatives.This lighter isotopic signature was thought to be the result of changing diatom activity and ocean currents during and between ice ages.However, researchers now think that a change in the isotopic signature of the river waters supplied to the ocean might account for these shifts.Dr Jon Hawkings, lead author of the study from the University of Bristol's School of Geographical Sciences,  Bristol Glaciology Centre and Cabot Institute for the Environment said: "In this study we wanted to find out if silica in glacial meltwaters from a large ice sheet (Greenland) has a distinctive isotopic signature."If it does, then the huge quantities of meltwater coming from melting ice sheets during the deglaciation could account for some of the change in ocean silicon isotopic signature that have been recorded previously.Rapid ice sheet melting during the last ice age led to periods of sea level rise great than 3 cm per year (compared to around 0.3cm per year at present)."At peaks, ice sheets melting an estimated 25,000 km3 of water was entering the oceans from melting ice sheets every year – this is more than three times the amount of water currently flowing from the Amazon river."If silica carried by ice sheet meltwaters does have a distinctive isotopic signature, then this reshapes how important ice sheets, and large deglaciation events, are in global biogeochemical cycles." Researchers examined silica concentrations in meltwaters and the silicon isotopic signature of those meltwaters (referred to as δ30Si, which we're using as a "marker" of glacial silica), alongside a computer model using this data, and results from a marine sediment core off the coast of Iceland which shows distinctive changes in the silicon isotopic composition of sponges during periods of ice sheet collapse.They wanted to determine: The study concluded that glaciers a
This Massive "Rogue" Planet is Our Solar Neighbor
Scientists are studying a rogue object with a mysterious aurora halfway between a brown dwarf and a planet. In 2016, scientists discovered a massive floating object in our galactic neighborhood. It was more than 12 times the size of Jupiter (the biggest planet in our solar system), with a magnetic field that was 200 times more powerful. The mass lived just 20 light years outside of our solar system. Unlike Jupiter and other planets that orbit around a parent star, this space oddity was completely rogue. At first, scientists speculated that it was a brown dwarf: a failed star dimmer than a red dwarf, but larger than gas giants. But a new “is right at the boundary between a planet and a brown dwarf...and is giving us some surprises that can potentially help us understand magnetic processes on both stars and planets,” said Melodie Kao, a lead author of the study. Scientists are exploring, for instance, where exactly its pretty glow comes from: auroras are usually caused by a planet’s magnetic field interacting with solar particles from solar winds. But this rogue planet doesn’t orbit around a sun, and it might be getting its light from stray particles of an orbiting moon or different planet. Scientists found the first rogue planet in the 1990s (though the first one was theorized in the 1960s), but the newest rogue object, named SIMP J01365663+0933473, is the first one scientists have found using solely radio emission detection. Researchers hope that the same technology could be used to find more rogue planets in the future. (source: Salon)
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Eclipse 2018 dates: When are the next solar and lunar eclipse dates?
A PARTIAL eclipse of the Sun will obscure the glowing orb in darkness later next week – but when are all the solar and lunar eclipse dates this year? The upcoming August solar eclipse will cover a portion of the Sun’s face when the New Moon passes in front of it. The eclipse will peak on the morning of Saturday, August 11, appearing in the uppermost parts of the Northern Hemisphere. Stargazers aiming to catch a glimpse of the eclipse will need to look out for the eclipse’s peak just before 11am UK time, although the eclipse will not be visible from the UK. The partial eclipse is the third eclipse event of the summer and comes hot on the heels of the July 27, Blood Moon lunar eclipse. The solar eclipse was also preceded by another partial eclipse of the Sun on the unlucky day of Friday, July 13. Overall, the August eclipse is the fifth and final eclipse of the year, wrapping up until January 6, 2019. What are the solar and lunar eclipse dates this year? So far there have been two eclipses of the Moon, one partial and one total, and two partial eclipses of the Sun. The August 11 partial eclipse will be the final eclipse of the year also concluding a brilliant trio of eclipses in rapid succession this summer. The first eclipse of the year was the brilliant Super Blue Blood Moon eclipse on January 31 – the first event of its kind since September 2015. The Super Blue Blood Moon was largely visible across Asia, Australia, the Pacific and parts of North America. The total eclipse was soon followed by the July 27 Blood Moon eclipse, which although smaller in size, was the longest total eclipse of the century. The Blood Moon eclipse peaked over Central Asia and Eastern Africa last month but visibility extended into Southeast Asia, West Africa, Europe and the UK. During the eclipse, totality lasted one hour and 43 minutes with additional partial eclipsing bringing the whole event up to nearly four hours. There have also been two partial eclipses of the Sun so far, the first of which darkened the Sun on February 15. The partial eclipse peaked just before 9pm Universal Time (UT) over swathes of Antarctica and South America. It was then followed by another partial eclipse on July 13, which was poorly visible across the southernmost parts of Australia and New Zealand. Unlike a lunar eclipse when the Earth covers the Moon in its shadow, the shadow cast by the Moon during a solar eclipse is much smaller in size and reach. Lunar eclipse only cover small areas of the globe for minutes at a time and as a result stargazers need to be alert to catch one. The August 11 eclipse will rise in the northernmost reaches of the planet with limited visibility expected to extend to Scandinavia, Greenland, Iceland, parts of Canada and Asia. NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Centre expects totality to peak at 9.47am UT. What are the eclipse dates next year? If you feel left out on any of these year’s eclipses the good news is NASA has forecast another five eclipses next
A novel approach for obtaining films for solar cells proposed by Materials scientists of Lomonosov M
Lomonosov Moscow State University, material scientists explained about the laws of dissolution and hybrid perovskite hybrid and gave a novel proposal for obtaining solar cells films.They explained the major mechanism of hybrid perovskite interaction with suggested new approaches from the coordinating aprotic solvents.The study results have been published recently in high-rating chemistry materials journal.A group of scientists at the Department of Materials Science and the Department of Chemistry of Lomonosov Moscow State University introduces an intensive work in the aspect of perovskite photovoltaic.This is currently the most rapidly developing area in material science.hybrid perovskites have reached 23.2% efficiency, surpassing the traditional based on silicon.The absorbing of light in perovskite devices can be obtained by cheaper and simpler solution methods.According to a recent study in the laboratory of "New Materials for Solar Energetics" under the supervision of the head of the laboratory, Ph.D.Alexey Tarasov, young scientists studied the perovskite crystallization processes from a solvent with gamma-butyrolactone (GBL), that is an unusual property.Alexey Tarasov said that the Lomonosov Moscow State University, the materials science school is a traditional characteristic trait and in their laboratory, they develop new non-solvent methods for getting solar cells, but they pay more attention to the Perovskite chemistry fundamental characters.There is two solvents name as dimethylsulfoxide and dimethylformamide used to prepare perovskite thin films from solutions.Their earlier work showed crystallization from these solvents proceeds through intermediate compounds such as crystal solvates.This can impair the functional and morphology properties of the perovskite layer.GBL exhibits retrograde solubility and it minimizes with the maximum of temperature.Researchers to produce single crystals extensively used this feature, these attempts to get a thin film resulted in the formation of different crystallites on a substrate.For a long time, this unexpected perovskite solution in GBL behavior has remained obscure.It was said that the perovskite-GBL interaction is weak and it does not form solvates with it.Scientists explored three kinds of perovskite crystals with GBL, and among them, they have a significant cluster structure.It is cleared that the perovskite solutions equilibrium in GBL is more complicated than previous.Scientists have shown that it was a perception of a cluster adducts instead of perovskite and this prevented the thin films formed from this solvent.During perovskite dissolution in GBL, they proposed the formation of clusters and results in Perovskite crystallization.
Источник сообщил, как будут проходить военные сборы в России
Источник сообщил, как будут проходить военные сборы в России МОСКВА, 19 мар — РИА Новости.Отбор кандидатов на краткосрочные военные сборы, которые будут организованы в соответствии с указом президента РФ в 2018 году, будут проводить военные комиссариаты совместно с воинскими частями, сообщил РИА Новости в понедельник источник в Минобороны России.Президент России Владимир Путин 19 марта издал указ № 114 "О призыве граждан РФ, пребывающих в запасе, на военные сборы в 2018 году".Срок прохождения сборов, как сказано в документе, опубликованном на официальном интернет-портале правовой информации, может составлять до двух месяцев."Отбор кандидатов для призыва на военные сборы будет проводиться военными комиссариатами совместно с комплектуемыми воинскими частями.В период отбора военнослужащие запаса вызываются по повестке в военкоматы для уточнения данных воинского учета и прохождения медицинской комиссии", — сказал собеседник агентства.По его словам, "учебные сборы касаются относительно небольшого числа офицеров и других категорий военнослужащих запаса — это не мобилизация и не призыв на срочную службу, который проходит в стране дважды в году".Подобные сборы, как отметил собеседник РИА Новости, проводятся далеко не впервые — они организуются в соответствии с ежегодным указом президента России и постановлением правительства РФ "О военных сборах и некоторых вопросах обеспечения исполнения воинской обязанности".По информации собеседника агентства, во время прохождения сборов военнообязанным и, соответственно, его отсутствия на рабочем месте выплаты среднего заработка с учетом начислений на фонд оплаты труда по месту постоянной работы предусмотрены законодательством независимо от того, является предприятие (учреждение) государственным либо частным."Расчет денежной компенсации учитывает время пребывания призванного на сборы в военкомате и в воинской части.Оно фиксируется в справке военкомата.Осуществление расходов, может производиться в соответствии с окладом по воинской должности, предусмотренной штатом части, и оклада по воинскому званию, среднего заработка с учетом начислений на фонд оплаты труда по месту постоянной работы.Все причитающиеся деньги должны быть выплачены не позже даты убытия прошедших сборы граждан из воинской части", — добавил собеседник РИА Новости.
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Heat wave shattered records this past week in US, elsewhere
Here's a quick look at the heat.For the week through Tuesday, 227 U.S.records were broken for highest temperature for particular days, and another 157 were tied, federal statistics show.There was also a lack of cooling overnight, with 451 records broken for warmest minimum temperatures for particular days, and another 421 tied.In Burlington, Vermont, for example, the temperature got down only to 80 degrees (27 degrees Celsius) on July 2, its highest low temperature ever.Some other countries have seen all-time highs, such as 105 degrees (41 C) in Tblisi, the capital of the nation of Georgia, on Wednesday, and 109 degrees (43 C) in Baku, the capital of Azerbaijan, on Sunday.On Monday, Iran experienced its hottest July temperature ever, 127 degrees (53 C).IS THIS DUE TO CLIMATE CHANGE? "I can't say that right now" without some further research, says Matthew Rosencrans of the National Weather Service.Still, because of global warming, "heat waves like this are likely to be more frequent going forward than they have been in the past." Jeff Masters, director of meteorology for the private forecasting service Weather Underground, said the past week's heat wave "is the kind of thing you expect to see on a warming planet .it's easier to set a heat record."He notes that 2016 was the warmest year on record globally, and that year saw the most all-time heat records broken around the world.IS ANY RELIEF IN SIGHT? In the U.S.,Masters said, a cold front should bring relief from the heat and humidity in the Midwest and Northeast on Friday through Sunday.Southern California will get severe heat during that time, he said, with a high of 102 degrees (39 C) forecast for Friday in Los Angeles.That city has experienced only five July days in recorded history that were warmer, he said.The coming week will be pretty hot over most of the U.S.,especially in the West, forecasters say.For the last two weeks of July, temperatures over the eastern half of the country are likely to be closer to average than they were this past week, while probably remaining above average in the western part of the country and the southern Plains.
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Searching for alien life on other moons
According to a new study, there could be more than 121 places where we should look for signs of life.But we are not talking about new Earth-like planets.Researchers think we should be looking at moons! "So far, the search for habitable worlds has been focused primarily on finding Earth-like planets in the habitable zone of their star, but this is not the only type of world on which we might find habitable conditions," says Michelle Hill, a student from the University of Southern Queensland who led the new study.Moons from planets like Jupiter and Saturn are also good places to look for life.And why not? Even our own Moon could host human life one day."Just think of Jupiter's moon Europa.A lot of evidence suggests that this tiny moon hosts liquid water.If I had to guess where we will first find an alien lifeform, I would say it is just as likely on a moon like Europa as it is on a planet like Mars," says Simon George, a professor of Organic Geochemistry at Macquarie University.Much like finding the perfect spot in real estate, finding life in outer space is all about location.In her new study, Michelle aimed to determine how many potentially life-supporting moons are out there.Her focus was on the so-called habitable zone, where conditions are optimal for the existence of liquid water.Her data came from NASA's Kepler mission, which launched back in 2009.The mission is currently searching the Milky Way for signs of potentially life-harbouring planets."We don't really know much about how many moons are in the habitable zones of stars like our Sun," Michelle explains, "but we do know that many giant planets like Jupiter and Saturn have multiple moons orbiting around them." "As our biggest gas giants hold many moons each—Jupiter with 69 moons and Saturn with 62—we expect these habitable zone giant planets would also host many moons that could be potentially habitable worlds," she adds.So, if we find out how many of these planets are out there, we can get an idea of how many moons might be orbiting around them.Michelle's study found at least 121 giant planets that are found within the habitable zone in our Milky Way galaxy that may harbour life-sustaining moons."If we assume each giant planet has many moons, then this study has helped to double or even more the number of potentially habitable worlds that we can observe in the universe," Michelle says."Indeed, considering the expected number of these moons in the habitable zone of their star, it is quite possible that the first signs of life found outside the Solar System, if it exists, could actually be found on a moon rather than an Earth-like planet," Michelle says."The future challenge is how we might go about detecting life, whether it be microbial or higher intelligence," Simon adds.Now Michelle plans to continue her search for more interesting moons and planets that may be harbouring life.This will be part of her Ph.D.,which she plans to start soon."The search for habitable celestial bodies, suc
The lithium battery’s black box
Lithium metal batteries have excellent power for future generation energy storage because this metal has a negative electrode, which is 10 times more theoretical significant capacity than the graphite electrode used in commercial Li-ion batteries.It has the most negative electrode energy among materials for making correct negative electrode and lithium batteries.Lithium is one of the complicated materials to manipulate, because of its internal dendrite mechanism growth.This high process is not fully understood and can cause Li-ion batteries to catch fire, short circuit and explode.When researchers know that the growth of dendrites is affected by ions move in the electrolyte, they do not understand how ion transport and inhomogeneous iconic effect.These are needle-like lithium whiskers; this forms internally electrodes battery internally.Imaging ion transport in an electrolyte has proved to be very promising and the present techniques have been unable to capture less ionic concentrations and ultrafast electrolyte dynamics.Researchers of Colombia University report that they have used stimulated, a technique used in biomedical studies called Raman Scattering (SRS) microscopy, to discover the mechanism behind the growth of dendrite in lithium batteries and become the first group of material scientists to observe directly in electrolytes ion transport.They explored a lithium deposition system that corresponded to three stages such as partial depletion, no depletion, and full lithium ions depletion.They found a feedback mechanism between heterogeneity of local ionic and lithium dendrite growth.These can be surpassed by artificial electrolyte interphase in the third and second stage.The research paper is published in Nature communication online.Stage 2 is a complicated point in which heterogeneous Li+ depletion induces on the surface and grows from mossy lithium mode to dendrite lithium mode.In this stage, the two regions start to appear that is dendrite region and non-dendrite region.Martin Bazant, professor of chemical engineering and mathematics at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology says that the smart use of Stimulated Raman Scattering microscopy is to visualize the electrolyte concentration in an operating electrode is an original breakthrough in the electrochemical system imaging.the study's lead author Qian Cheng, a postdoctoral researcher in Yang's lab says that at the time they made surface ion distribution and mitigated the ionic heterogeneity by depositing artificial robust electrolyte interface, they are able to suppress the dendrite formation.This provides them a suppress dendrite growth strategy and move on to improving the energy depth of present batteries at the time of creating future energy storage.
Perseid meteor shower 2018 to be BEST EVER: Astronomers tout 'AMAZING SHOW'
The Perseids will burst out into balls of flame this weekend between the nights of Saturday, August 11, and Monday, August 13. The annual meteor shower starts to produce individual shooting stars each year around mid-July before it builds in intensity. The meteors are bits and pieces of space rubble broken off from the speeding Comet Swift-Tuttle. By around mid-August, the Earth crosses paths with the comet’s orbital debris trail which spectacularly intensifies the meteor shower. During the peak, the Perseid shower can produce up to 100 meteors an hour. Past meteor showers have been known to even produce up to 200 meteors zooming across the sky every hour. This year astronomers are hoping to see anywhere between 50 and 60 shooting stars an hour, or around one every minute. This year’s shower is expected to be particularly dazzling thanks to the darkened New Moon phase of the lunar cycle. The New Moon should keep the skies nice and dark on the night of the peak which will help spot the fast-moving meteors. Diana Hannikainen, observing editor of Sky & Telescope, said: “The moonless sky this year means the viewing will be excellent, and the shower's predicted peak is timed especially well for North America. “Under a very dark sky, you might see up to one Perseid per minute late on Sunday night or after midnight on Monday morning.” The shower will be at its most intense on the night of Sunday to Monday morning. Astronomers advise looking for the meteors after midnight and just before the break of dawn when the Earth is closest to Swift-Tuttle’s orbit. On the odd occasion you should still be able to spot individual meteors before midnight local time but they will appear much rarer. Between midnight and dawn the shower’s radiant, its apparent point of origin in the sky, will be pretty high up. The radiant will appear to come out next to the Perseid’s namesake constellation, Constellation Perseus. The higher the Perseids’ radiant during the peak, the more meteors you will see. But you do not have to worry about finding the constellation in the star-lit night because the Perseids will burst out in every direction imaginable. The fireballs can and will appear in the sky randomly, so the best thing to do is to lie back comfortably and absorb as much of the open sky as possible. Sky & Telescope senior editor J Kelly Beatty advised: “Relax, be patient and let your eyes adapt to the darkness. The Perseids will put on a great show.” But if you are feeling a little bit more adventurous, you can follow the Perseids and trace their trajectory backwards to Perseus. And the good news is you can do this with nothing more than your naked eyes. The meteors are incredibly fast moving and trying to spot them with a telescope or high-powered binoculars would only complicate matters. Just be aware of any local light pollution from lamps and buildings that might make the skies brighter during the peak. Quiet outdoor areas with unobstructed views of the ho
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Moving magnetic fields disrupt ice nucleation
Atsuko Kobayashi (MS '91) and Caltech professor Joseph Kirschvink (BS, MS '75)—a husband-and-wife team of researchers who divide their time between Japan and the U.S.—returned to their home to discover that their freezer had died at some point during their absence.While shopping for a new one, Kobayashi saw an advertisement for a special type of freezer using magnetic fields to keep food fresher by "supercooling" them.She did not buy it, but she wanted to know why supercooling might improve frozen food and how magnetic fields might cause supercooling.When chilled below 0 degrees Celsius, water molecules start forming ice crystals wherever there are minerals or other solids suspended in the water—what are known as nucleation sites.Completely pure water, lacking nucleation sites, can be chilled well below the usual freezing point and yet remain a liquid—a process called supercooling.Supercooling has commercial advantages.Indeed, without necessarily knowing the mechanisms behind why they work, Japanese fishermen have been using the magnetically controlled freezers to transport fish long distances to market.The treatment is purported to reduce the cellular damage in the fishes' flesh, keeping the flavor and texture intact.The fish often sell on the competitive fish market at prices comparable to freshly caught variety."When you supercool water before freezing it, the resulting ice doesn't expand as much in volume as regular ice because it takes on a different crystalline structure.If you are freezing tissues, which have water in them, less expansion means less damage to cells," Kobayashi says.The process also offers scientific advantages.As an electron microscopist, Kobayashi often has to freeze biological tissues before generating images of them.One of her major goals has been finding ways to freeze biological tissue while minimizing damage caused by ice crystal formation."The question was, why would magnetic fields have any effect on whether unpurified water, like the water in cells, could be supercooled?" asks Kobayashi, who is a senior research scientist at the Earth-Life Science Institute at the Tokyo Institute of Technology and visitor in geology and biology at Caltech.While researching minerals capable of ice nucleation, she had a realization: the answer could lie in magnetite, a naturally occurring compound of iron and oxygen that is magnetic.Kobayashi and Kirschvink's research team has long studied magnetite.Kobayashi was the first to succeed in extracting and imaging nanocrystals of biological magnetite in the human brain, and Kirschvink, the Nico and Marilyn Van Wingen Professor of Geobiology at Caltech, has spent the past 30 years exploring what role biological magnetite might play in magnetoreception—the ability of living creatures to sense magnetic fields Their work builds on the research of Heinz Lowenstam, a paleoecologist who joined Caltech in 1952.Although it was well known that animals could generate hard minerals in teeth and bon
Life on Mars could be found within THREE YEARS astrobiologist says after breakthrough
COMPELLING evidence of life on Mars could be found within three years, a NASA scientist has predicted after two major discoveries. Scientists are on the brink of a breakthrough in space exploration following the discovery of a lake of water on the Red Planet’s surface coupled with the identification of fluctuations in methane levels consistent with organic processes. Professor Vladimir Airapsetian made his exciting prediction to Express.co.uk in the wake of the two exciting discoveries unveiled last month. First NASA revealed that its Curiosity rover had discovered small but significant changes in the level of methane in the Martian atmosphere depending on seasons, which on Earth are usually a result of biological emissions and as such, an indication of life. Second, the Marsis radar instrument on board the European Space Agency’s Mars Express orbiter was used to identify a lake located under the planet’s south polar ice cap, which is thought to be about 12 miles in diameter. Addressing the subject of the lake, Professor Airapetian said: “In my opinion, this study is particularly important given the recent evidence of fossils found in mantle rocks about half a mile below the ground (or the ancient seafloor) of the Iberian continental margin off the coast of Spain and Portugal in 1993. “This drilling project on Earth strongly suggests that microbial life survives in harsh environments where water is available. “The current study based on MARS Express radar data suggests the presence of standing bodies of water (or a lake) at depths of about 1 mile below the South Pole Layered Deposits. “The radar method of identification of subsurface Martian lake was previously use to identify the lake beneath the ice in Antarctica and Greenland.” He said he was “optimistic” that even if dry and low-pressure conditions on the planet’s surface meant life there was unlikely, the subsurface lake could support microbial life, or at least may have done so in the last. He added: “It excites researchers to keep looking for signatures of life on Mars. “This suggests that we need to drill in the Martian surface as deep as we can to find water. “If the current Curiosity mission can only drill as deep as half an inch, NASA InSight mission should be able to reach up to 16 ft deep and the European ExoMars 2020 mission will try to look for signatures of life up to 6 ft deep. ExoMars mission has a good chance to find present or extant life or at least complex biological molecules associated with life.” Equally exciting, if not even more so, were Curiosity's findings in respect of methane levels, Professor Airapetian said, not least because they make geological explanations for what is happening less plausible. He added: "The results suggest large swings (by a factor of three) of methane that is much greater than expected from seasonal variations and may come from subsurface caves released due to organic decay. "Together with discovery of carbon-bearing molecule
Perseid meteor shower: Swift-Tuttle comet could DESTROY life on Earth
THE comet responsible for the Perseids meteor shower could one day hit Earth and the consequences would be far more severe than the asteroid which wiped out the dinosaurs. The Perseids meteor shower will peak this weekend between the night of Saturday, August 11, and the morning of Monday, August 13. While the people of Earth will be treated to a dazzling display of a meteor shower, the comet responsible for the shooting stars might not be as kind to us in the future. The 16-mile-wide Comet Swift-Tuttle is leaves behind a trail of meteors which cause the Perseids meteor shower. But there is a chance the huge space rock could strike Earth in the future and if it does, the power would be 30 times greater than the asteroid that wiped out the dinosaurs. An impact like this would surely wipe out ALL life on Earth. Experts warn that in the future, Jupiter, which the comet also passes, could gravitationally pull on it, changing Swift-Tuttle’s direction and putting it on a collision course with our planet. Forbes’ resident scientist Ethan Siegel wrote: “If Swift-Tuttle were to strike Earth, it would release more than one billion megatons of energy: the energy equivalent of 20,000,000 hydrogen bombs exploding all at once. ‘Without a doubt, the comet that gives rise to the Perseids is far and away the single most dangerous object known to humanity. “It would mark the largest mass extinction our world has seen in hundreds of millions of years.” However, we are safe for now. The next time Swift-Tuttle will be within a million miles of Earth will be August 5, 2126 and August 24, 2261. However, it is the passing in 4479 when we will not be 100 percent safe. Even then, there is only a one in a million chance it will hit Earth. Conditions this year are expected to be ideal thanks to the darkened New Moon keeping the skies dark thought the shower. The Perseids arrive each year in the night skies when the Earth passes through the cosmic trail of Comet Swift-Tuttle. The meteor shower always starts around mid-July and wraps towards the end of August, peaking about mid-way through.
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Einstein's Genius: Describing the Geometry of Space-Time
Paul Sutter is an astrophysicist at The Ohio State University and the chief scientist at COSI science center.Sutter is also host of "Ask a Spaceman" and "Space Radio," and leads AstroTours around the world.Sutter contributed this article to Space.com's Expert Voices: Op-Ed & Insights.General relativity is one of the greatest feats of human understanding, made all the more impressive by the fact that it sprang from the fertile imagination and dogged mathematical brilliance of just one mind.The theory itself is the last and most persistent of the "classical" (i.e.,not-quantum) models of nature, and our inability to come up with anything more sophisticated over the past hundred years is a constant reminder of just how dang smart Albert Einstein was.Another testament to Einstein's genius comes in the tangled spaghetti of complex, interconnected equations that make up the full theory.Einstein made a beautiful machine, but he didn't exactly leave us a user's manual.We can trace his path in the seven years of self-inflicted torture that led to the theory's final form, but that route of development was guided by so much of Einstein's gut intuition that it's hard for us mere mortals to make the same blind jumps of genius that he did.Just to drive home the point, general relativity is so complex that when someone discovers a solution to the equations, they get the solution named after them and become semi-legendary in their own right.There's a reason that Karl Schwarzschild — the guy who figured out the geometry of black holes — is a household name (or at least, a physics department name).[Einstein's Theory of General Relativity: A Simplified Explanation] The absolute core of general relativity, and a perfectly acceptable alternative name for it, is geometrodynamics.Go ahead, say it out loud — it's fun.The way that general relativity models gravity is through the dynamic machinations of space-time itself.According to the theory, the presence of matter and energy alters the fundamental space-time geometry surrounding those substances, and that altered geometry influences motion.This relationship comes about from the most important, fundamental, can't-ignore-this concept underlying the entire theory of general relativity: the equivalence principle (E.P.).This principle is the assumption that inertial mass (how much oomph it takes to move an object) is the same property as gravitational mass (how much an object responds to gravity).And this is the key that unlocks the whole gravitational shebang.Using that equivalence, we can imagine a scenario to help visualize the connection between geometry and gravity.Pretend you're orbiting high above the Earth, serenely watching the continents and oceans roll under your vantage point.Then you open up a box of junk.As the bits of debris float away from you, you ponder the ramifications of what you just did.Sure, you've now created a cloud of potentially hazardous debris that poses a major risk to satellites and future m
Eclipse 2018: How to watch the partial solar eclipse THIS WEEKEND
A PARTIAL solar eclipse will peak tomorrow morning over Europe and Asia in the Northern Hemisphere. Find out how to watch the eclipse this weekend. The solar eclipse kicks off on Saturday, August 11, when the New Moon encroaches onto the glowing disc of the Sun. The eclipse will start over the North Atlantic and Greenland around 8.02am UT (9.02am BST). Once the eclipse starts, observers in Europe will see a dark circle slowly bite into the Sun, partially obscuring it from view. But watching the eclipse tomorrow is a bit more complicated than simply looking up at the skies. Depending on your location, the amount of Sun eclipsed but the Moon will vary to great degrees. From the Norwegian island of Svalbard for instance observers will see about 57 percent of eclipse coverage. At the same time stargazers in Iceland could see about 14 percent of the Sun hide from sight But at no point during the eclipse will it be safe for you to look at the burning face of Sun. Just like staring at a total solar eclipse can permanently scar your eyes, partial eclipses can be just as damaging to your eyesight. It is never safe to look at an eclipse without proper protection, filter glasses or other safety apparatus. NASA’s eclipse experts explained: “Even during a partial eclipse, when only a very small part of the Sun is visible, viewing it without eye protection risks permanent eye damage or blindness.” The US space agency recommends a number of safe methods to watch the partial eclipse, such as the use of filters and projection. Projecting a solar eclipse involves punching a tiny hole in a bit of cardboard and holding it just a few feet away from a white screen like a large piece of paper. The pinhole opening projects an image of the Sun onto the screen, following the basic principle of a pinhole camera or camera obscura effect. On the odd occasion NASA said you might be able to project an image of the eclipsed Sun on the ground by simply letting light through the gaps in your interlaced fingers or the leaves of a tree. But for a clearer and better view of the Sun you should invest in a pair of special filter glasses or a filtered telescope or binoculars. NASA said: “The Sun can be viewed directly only when using filters specifically designed for this purpose. The Sun can be viewed directly only when using filters specifically designed for this purpose NASA “Such filters usually have a thin layer of aluminium, chromium or silver deposited on their surfaces. “One of the most widely available filters for safe eclipse viewing is a number 14 or darker welder’s glass.” Be sure to check in with your local astronomy club to find out if they have any filtered telescopes you could use to look at the eclipsed Sun through. But if you were hoping to stay in bed on Saturday morning rather than head out to see the eclipse, you might be wondering if there are any astronomical live streams of the event. Unfortunately due to small eclipse coverage and limited area
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Methyl marks on RNA discovered to be key to brain cell connections
Methyl chemical groups dot lengths of DNA, helping to control when certain genes are accessible by a cell.In new research, UCLA scientists have shown that at the connections between brain cells—which often are located far from the central control centers of the cells—methyl groups also dot chains of RNA.This methyl markup of RNA molecules is likely key to brain cells' ability to quickly send signals to other cells and react to changing stimuli in a fraction of a second.To dictate the biology of any cell, DNA in the cell's nucleus must be translated into corresponding strands of RNA.Next, the messenger RNA, or mRNA—an intermediate genetic molecule between DNA and proteins—is transcribed into proteins.If a cell suddenly needs more of a protein—to adapt to an incoming signal, for instance—it must translate more DNA into mRNA.Then it must make more proteins and shuttle them through the cell to where they are needed.This process means that getting new proteins to a distant part of a cell, like the synapses of neurons where signals are passed, can take time.Research has recently suggested that methyl chemical groups, which can control when DNA is transcribed into mRNA, are also found on strands of mRNA.The methylation of mRNA, researchers hypothesize, adds a level of control to when the mRNA can be translated into proteins, and their occurrence has been documented in a handful of organs throughout the bodies of mammals.The pattern of methyls on mRNA in any given cell is dubbed the "epitranscriptome." UCLA and Kyoto University researchers mapped out the location of methyls on mRNA found at the synapses, or junctions, of mouse brain cells.They isolated brain cells from adult mice and compared the epitranscriptome found at the synapses to the epitranscriptomes of mRNA elsewhere in the cells.At more than 4,000 spots on the genome, the mRNA at the synapse was methylated more often.More than half of these spots, the researchers went on to show, are in genes that encode proteins found mostly at the synapse.The researchers found that when they disrupted the methylation of mRNA at the synapse, the brain cells didn't function normally.The methylation of mRNA at the synapse is likely one of many ways that neurons speed up their ability to send messages, by allowing the mRNA to be poised and ready to translate into proteins when needed.The levels of key proteins at synapses have been linked to a number of psychiatric disorders, including autism.Understanding how the epitranscriptome is regulated, and what role it plays in brain biology, may eventually provide researchers with a new way to control the proteins found at synapses and, in turn, treat disorders characterized by synaptic dysfunction.
Путин подписал указ о призыве запасников в 2018 году на военные сборы
Путин подписал указ о призыве запасников в 2018 году на военные сборы Такие указы глава государства подписывает ежегодно.В прошлом году Путин подписал аналогичный документ в апреле.Тогда максимальный срок сборов также составил два месяца.Сборы проводятся для улучшения профессиональных навыков и знаний военнослужащих запаса.Как правило, в них участвуют те, кто во время срочной службы или учебы в вузе получил востребованные в армии специальности: например, программисты или связисты.На сборы призывают как уже прошедших военную службу, так и освобожденных от нее или имевших отсрочки.В них также могут участвовать выпускники военной кафедры.От сборов освобождаются учителя, студенты высших учебных заведений (заочники — на период сессии и написания диплома), многодетные отцы, у которых более двух несовершеннолетних детей, члены Совфеда, высшие должностные лица, гражданский персонал Вооруженных сил, работники авиационного и железнодорожного транспорта, участники посевных и уборочных работ, члены экипажа морских судов во время навигации, а также речного флота и флота рыбной промышленности.
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Eclipse 2018: The third and FINAL solar eclipse of 2018 will be THIS SATURDAY
THE final eclipse of the year will peak tomorrow in the morning hours when the August New Moon bites into the face of the Sun. The partial eclipse of the Sun is the third eclipse event to grace the skies this summer and the fifth and final of the year. The August eclipse was preceded by the brilliant total lunar eclipse Blood Moon on Friday, July 27, and another partial solar eclipse on Friday, July 13. Earlier this year, a lucky few stargazers may have also spotted a partial eclipse of the Sun in the afternoon hours of February 15. And astronomers around the globe will remember the historic Super Blue Blood Moon lunar eclipse on the night of January 31 – the first such eclipse since 2015. The next Super Blue Blood Moon combo will not occur until January 31, 2037, but in the meantime you can look to the skies this weekend. The August eclipse will be exclusive to the Northern Hemisphere on Saturday when it kicks off from around 8.02am Universal Time over the North Atlantic. Visibility from Europe will limited to areas just below the Arctic Circle in the far north. This includes parts of Scandinavia, Russia and Iceland and perhaps the most extreme north of Scotland. Depending on your location, you could see anywhere between five to 50 percent of the Sun disappear behind the Moon tomorrow. Iceland’s astronomy website Stjórnufræðivefurinn claims the eclipse will be visible between 8.10am and 9.26am UT. Viewers in the Icelandic Westman Islands, to the south of mainland Iceland, will see about nine percent coverage and viewers in Ísafjörður will see about 14 percent of eclipse coverage. The partial eclipse is expected to peak, or reach its midway point, by 9.46am UT tomorrow. In the Swedish town of Kiruna, located within the Arctic Circle, observers could see up to 25 percent of coverage. Jay Pasachoff, an astronomy professor at Williams College in Massachusetts, told Forbes: “It is a location with relatively large occultation at 25 percent compared with the 10 percent we had in Tasmania last month, or the 16 percent or so we had in Buenos Aires in February.” The eclipsed Sun will be best seen from the remote Norwegian island of Svalbard, the icy fields of Greenland and most of northern Russia. As the Sun and the Moon fly together across the sky, the eclipse will head north and east over the top of the planet. When the eclipse appears over the North Pole, about 65 percent of the Sun could be obscured by the lunar disc. The eclipse will then move down over Central and Eastern Asia, appearing in Mongolia, China and South and North Korea. The August eclipse will wrap up tomorrow by 11.30am UT or just about three hours and 30 minutes after it started. Stargazers will then have to wait until January 6, 2019, for the next partial solar eclipse. A much more spectacular total solar eclipse will appear soon after on July 2, 2019. The Sun’s path of totality will fall over the South Pacific and central parts of South America. Astronomer Eleanor Im
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Easter Island's society might not have collapsed
"For a long time, people wondered about the culture behind these very important statues," says Field Museum scientist Laure Dussubieux, one of the study's authors."This study shows how people were interacting, it's helping to revise the theory." "The idea of competition and collapse on Easter Island might be overstated," says lead author Dale Simpson, Jr.,an archaeologist from the University of Queensland."To me, the stone carving industry is solid evidence that there was cooperation among families and craft groups." The first people arrived on Easter Island (or, in the local language, Rapa Nui) about 900 years ago."The founding population, according to oral tradition, was two canoes led by the island's first chief, Hotu Matu?a," says Simpson, who is currently on the faculty of the College of DuPage.Over the years, the population rose to the thousands, forming the complex society that carved the statues Easter Island is known for today.These statues, or moai, often referred to as "Easter Island heads," are actually full-body figures that became partially buried over time.The moai, which represent important Rapa Nui ancestors, number nearly a thousand, and the largest one is over seventy feet tall.According to Simpson, the size and number of the moai hint at a complex society."Ancient Rapa Nui had chiefs, priests, and guilds of workers who fished, farmed, and made the moai.There was a certain level of sociopolitical organization that was needed to carve almost a thousand statues," says Simpson.Recent excavations of four statues in the inner region of Rano Raraku, the statue quarry, were conducted by Jo Anne Van Tilburg of Cotsen Institute of Archaeology, UCLA and director of the Easter Island Statue Project, along with her Rapa Nui excavation team.To better understand the society that fabricated two of the statues, Simpson, Dussubieux, and Van Tilburg took a detailed look at twenty one of about 1,600 stone tools made of volcanic stone called basalt that had been recovered in Van Tilburg's excavations.About half of the tools, called toki, recovered were fragments that suggested how they were used.For Van Tilburg, the goal of the project was to gain a better understanding of how tool makers and statue carvers may have interacted, thus gaining insight into how the statue production industry functioned."We wanted to figure out where the raw materials used to manufacture the artifacts came from," explained Dussubieux."We wanted to know if people were taking material from close to where they lived." There are at least three different sources on Easter Island that the Rapa Nui used for material to make their stone tools.The basalt quarries cover twelve thousand square meters, an area the size of two football fields.And those different quarries, the tools that came from them, and the movement between geological locations and archaeological sites shed light on prehistoric Rapa Nui society."Basalt is a grayish rock that doesn't look like anything special, b
BLACK HOLE BREAKTHROUGH: Gamma ray bursts 'REVERSE TIME' reveal scientists
TIME may repeat itself in REVERSE when black holes form, according to astonishing and mind blowing new research. Black holes are formed when stars collapse in on themselves resulting in one of the most intense explosions in the universe. As the stars implode, they release gamma ray bursts – or GRBs – which are huge bursts of energy that are released and can travel vast distances through the Universe. However, scientists may have discovered something even more mesmerising than black holes and GRBs: the possibility of time reversing in the surrounding areas just as they go off. Researchers from the College of Charleston found that time essentially “mirrored” itself in wavelike structures in six GRBs which they studied. The study found that a cluster of electrons and ions ‘emissions’ which were spat out during a GRB seemed to repeat backwards as the signal reflected through the cloud of material from the explosion of a star. The College of Charleston researchers wrote in their paper published in arXiv: “The existence of time-reversed pulse structure leads us to believe that physical models of GRB pulses must contain strong physical symmetries and an interaction with a single impactor. “We have explored a number of simple kinematic models, and find that either the distribution of impacted material in a [gamma-ray burst] jet must be bilateral-symmetrically distributed and impacted by a single impactor, a physical phenomenon is responsible for reversing the course of a single impactor, or a single impactor creates emission in bilateral-symmetrically distributed material as it passes through it." While the research may sound incredible it is not totally unexpected as black holes and time often have a complicated relationship. This is an effect known as time dilation. The gravitational pull around a black hole is so intense that even light cannot escape its grasp. Gravity effects light so as the light is sucked back in to the black hole, time slows down to the point which it stops. So, for example, a ticking clock falling into a black hole would tick slower and slower until it stops and would take an infinite amount of time to reach the black hole.
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Совладелец кемеровского ТЦ опроверг информацию о причастности «КДВ групп к комплексу
КЕМЕРОВО, 26 марта./ТАСС/.Томский бизнесмен Денис Штенгелов, один из учредителей компании-совладельца кемеровского торгового центра (ТЦ) "Зимняя вишня", где ранее произошел пожар, опроверг информацию о причастности крупного пищевого холдинга "КДВ групп" к ТЦ.Ранее в СМИ появилась информация, что "КДВ групп" является одним из аффилированных собственников торгового центра.Штенгелов, являющийся одним из основателей "КДВ групп" говорит, что она не имеет отношение к ТЦ в Кемерово."Компания "КДВ групп" никакого отношения к торговому центру не имеет.К торговому центру имею отношение только я как физическое лицо.Я как физическое лицо являюсь совладельцем компании "Кондитерус ком", а эта компания является собственником "Кемеровского кондитерского комбината".Именно комбинат строил торговый центр", - сказал Штенгелов ТАСС.Он уточнил, что комбинат не является дочерней компанией и не связан с "КДВ групп", занимающейся производством кондитерских изделий и закусок (бренды "Яшкино", "Кириешки", "Озерский сувенир", "Три корочки", ETRE)."Данное лицо - Кемеровский кондитерский комбинат - никак не связан с компанией "КДВ групп", - подчеркнул Штенгелов.Собеседник агентства пояснил, что у торгового центра в Кемерово много собственников, часть объектов была продана, часть осталась в собственном управлении комбинат."Фактически я являюсь собственником компании, которая владеет только частью площадей торгового центра.Я не строил фактически объект, я инвестировал деньги в строительство объекта", - отметил он."Это страшная трагедия.Мы выделим семьям погибших по 3 млн рублей", - сказал Штенгелов, добавив, что также готов оказать необходимую помощь и поддержку нуждающимся в реабилитации, если она потребуется.Он добавил, что общается с представителями Следственного комитета по телефону и предоставляет всю имеющуюся у него информацию."Все сотрудники и я постоянно на связи со следователями.Мне звонят, отвечаю на все вопросы, на которые могу ответить.Я максимально заинтересован, как и все мы, в том, чтобы разобраться в произошедшем и выявить виновных в трагедии", - сказал собеседник агентства.Штенгелов добавил, что торговый центр "Зимняя вишня" после пожара восстановлен не будет."На этом месте не будет никогда никакого развлекательного учреждения, если мое мнение будет учитываться", - отметил он.25 марта в торгово-развлекательном центре "Зимняя вишня" в Кемерове произошел пожар.По последним данным, при пожаре погибли 64 человека, более 50 обратились за помощью в медицинские учреждения.В рамках возбужденного уголовного дела задержаны и допрошены четыре человека, в том числе арендатор помещения, в котором предположительно находился эпицентр возгорания.
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The cautionary tail of Comet Swift–Tuttle
This image shows the comet photographed on 4 April 1892 (top) and 6 April 1892 (bottom) by Professor EE Barnard, taken from Plate III in A Popular History of Astronomy in the nineteenth century by Agnes M Clerke (third edition), courtesy of Internet Archive.Once a year, Earth passes through a section of Swift–Tuttle's cometary tail—a cloud of particles ejected from the comet, most of which have been in this formation for a thousand years.As these tiny particles enter Earth's atmosphere at extremely fast speeds, they burn up, resulting in the wonderful show that is a meteor shower.Every year from the middle of July to late August, observers are treated to the spectacle of glowing cosmic debris, streaming across the night's skies.This year the shower will peak from the evening of Sunday 12 August to the early hours of Monday 13 August.The Moon will be a new crescent moon, fortunately setting before the show really gets underway and so leaving the skies dark for what is set to be the best shower of 2018.Discovered in 1862, the 'near-Earth comet' Swift–Tuttle has a nucleus 26 km in diameter—that's two-and-a-half times the size of the asteroid that wiped out the dinosaurs, and it is travelling four times as fast.As the largest Solar System object (bar the Moon) to repeatedly pass close to Earth, comet Swift-Tuttle's movements have been meticulously studied by scientists around the globe.It's most recent 'perihelion'—the point in its orbit in which it comes closest to the Sun—was in 1992, and the next won't be until 12 July 2126.Fortunately all of comet Swift–Tuttle's orbits for the next 2000 years have been intricately calculated, when Earth is 100% safe – passing for example 22.9million km from Earth in 2126 and 22 million km in 2261.A close encounter is expected around 15 September 4479, when Swift-Tuttle is expected to pass within 1.6million km of Earth—more than 90 times closer than the Sun, or, only about four times the distance of the Moon.So, for the foreseeable future we will continue to enjoy the beautiful show put on every year by the remnants of this Sun-grazer's historic journeys to the centre of our Solar System.These stunning events also serve as a reminder that our planet has been visited before by huge cosmic space-rocks, and has the potential to be once again.
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New Thruster Aims to Help Microsats Bust Out of the Kiddy Pool
LOGAN, Utah — Stellar Exploration, a space technology company based in San Luis Obispo, California, is in the midst of qualification testing of a miniature propulsion system for planetary microsatellite missions.What's unusual about the technology Stellar Exploration developed with Malin Space Science Systems of San Diego is its power, said Mike Loucks, president of Space Exploration Engineering, a Seattle company that specializes in cis-lunar, lunar and deep space missions.The new thruster fueled with hydrazine and nitrogen tetroxide is designed to move a 12-unit cubesat, which weighs about 28 kilograms, at a speed of two kilometers per second."The miniaturized bi-prop system Stellar has developed suddenly allows cubesats to take on the missions normally associated with much larger and more expensive spacecraft," Loucks said by email."None of the currently marketed propulsion systems for cubesats are even in the same ballpark.This is a serious, grown-up propulsion system based on well-known technology that allows microsatellites to bust out of the kiddy pool."[Wild Ideas for Superfast Space Propulsion] Stellar Exploration developed the new thruster with funding from NASA's Small Innovative Missions for Planetary Exploration program, which supports the formulation and development of small spacecraft science missions.The company is proposing to fly it for the first time on a cubesat that would ride to Mars along with NASA's Psyche asteroid exploration mission in 2022.Psyche is slated to perform a Mars fly-by, which means a cubesat riding along will need its own powerful propulsion to enter Martian orbit."We are looking for other potential applications," said Tomas Svitek, Stellar Exploration president.The new thruster could be used, for example, on a small robotic lunar lander, a microsatellite moving from geostationary transfer orbit to geostationary orbit or a satellite traveling in a highly elliptical polar orbit, known as a Molniya orbit, Svitek told SpaceNews at the Small Satellite Conference here.Stellar Exploration designed the new bi-propellant thruster with a low-pressure tank to ease range safety concerns.Compliance with launch safety regulations is inherent in the design, Svitek said..
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Mars at night: Stunning pictures of Red Planet shining brightly in August night skies
PLANET Mars is big, bright and beautiful this month, days after the Red Planet came to its closest distance from Earth since 2003. Here are the most stunning pictures of Mars in the August night skies. Mars reached opposition with Earth on July 27 and came strikingly close to Earth on the night of July 30 and July 31. On the night of the approach, the dusty Red Planet came within 35.8 million miles of Earth – the closest the planet has been to our home world in 15 years. At the peak of the approach Mars was extremely visible in the night sky, standing out against the myriad of stars with its characteristic red glow. The Red Planet shined with a magnitude of 2.8 which is near twice as bright as Jupiter – the largest planet in the solar system and the fourth brightest object seen from Earth. Thankfully if you missed the Red Planet at night in July, Mars will remain incredibly bright and easy to spot for the remainder of the month. According to TheSkyLive.com online star chart guide, the Red Planet is visible to the naked eye tonight, shining at a magnitude of -2.69. Mars can be found below the horizon in the Constellation Capricornus, when seen from the UK. The Red Planet will be up all night and roughly sit directly opposite the Sun. Mars will be seen from about 8.43pm BST and will disappear below the horizon around 3.44am BST. You can spot the Red Planet at an altitude of -51 degrees in an east-northeast 65 degree direction. Astronomer Justin Davenport took a photo of the glowing red disk above the Earth on the night of Saturday, August 4. Sharing his photo of Mars on Twitter, Mr Davenport said: “I got this IR plus RGB shot of Mars very early this morning with the ZWO ASI 120mm-s and the photographic filters plus the C8 and 1.5x Barlow lens. Enjoy!” Mr Davenport posted another photo of Mars, tweeting: “WhileI’m on the subject of Mars, I got this IR plus RGB shot – without Barlow – of the Red Planet on the early morning of August 4th with the same equipment I described in my last tweet. “I will be buying a filter wheel in the not distant future.” Tony Coleby, @TonyColeby, tweeted a picture of the distant Red Planet shining brightly in the starry field of the night sky. Mr Coleby tweeted: “Mars and stars. Red twinkle clearly visible with the naked eye. “No telescope, no tripod, crop equivalent to 1,600mm lens. Contrast-enhanced star field but left the planet untouched. “Astrophotography on the cheap. inspiring.” Another stunning photo of Mars was taken on late August 3 from the Tauxigny observatory in Central France. The photo is a long exposure of the Red Planet streaking across the sky in a continuous line.
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Nasa Opportunity rover still lost on Mars as dust storm which engulfed the Red Planet begins to sett
A Nasa robot is still missing and presumed dead on the surface of Mars. Space scientists lost contact with the Opportunity Rover almost two months ago as it was buffeted by a huge dust storm which covered the entire surface of Mars. The swirling maelstrom will have deposited powder onto the solar panels which power the exploration ‘droid, meaning it cannot recharge its battery to make contact with mission control back on Earth. New pictures taken by professional and amateur astronomers in recent days have shown the features of Mars emerge once again as the dust settles But there’s still no sign of Opportunity and the mood at Nasa’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory is beginning to falter. Last week, forlorn stargazers even resorted to playing Wham’s ‘Wake Me Up Before You Go-Go’ before they started work each day to boost their flagging spirits. This is the first time she [Opportunity] has stopped talking to us and not resumed communication when we expected.’ On July 26, Nasa said the storm was subsiding but said it could take weeks or months before Opportunity can ‘recharge its batteries and phone home’. Nasa wrote: ‘Scientists observing the global [dust storm] – which is actually caused by a series of local and regional storms throwing dust into the Martian atmosphere – say that, as of Monday, July 23, more dust is falling out than is being raised into the planet’s thin air. That means the event has reached its decay phase, when dust-raising occurs in ever smaller areas, while others stop raising dust altogether. ‘Surface features in many areas are beginning to re-appear as seen from orbit. This should even be apparent through telescopes on the ground: Next week, Mars will make its closest approach to Earth since 2003 — a particularly good time for observing the Red Planet. Meanwhile, in Gale Crater, the nuclear-powered Mars Science Laboratory/Curiosity rover has noted a decline in dust overhead.’ The super-tough rover was only designed to survive for 90 days on the surface of Mars but has kept on trundling for 15 years. The storm which engulfed it was one of the largest ever observed on the Red Planet and blanketed the entire planet, throwing some regions into perpetual darkness. The challenge for Opportunity is surviving freezing temperates without the light of the sun, which warms up the Martian surface as well as providing the robot with the energy it needs to operate. There is still a chance it will come back to life when the dust drops from its solar panels. But this possibility will become less and less likely as more times passes.
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NASA Is Launching a Submarine to the Seafloor
NASA is about to send a submarine to the bottom of the ocean.The mission may seem like a departure from the agency's primary occupation of lofting things into space, but NASA has a very good reason to be taking a closer look at the Earth's seafloor.One day we might send a submarine to the outer solar system to explore the waters of other worlds for life, and we need to know what to look for.SUBSEA, short for Systematic Underwater Biogeochemical Science and Exploration Analog, is a two-pronged mission.It serves as both a testbed for the kind of equipment we'll one day want to send to a watery moon, and as a way to study the biochemistry of such an environment.On Monday, August 20, NASA will send the SUBSEA mission to a volcanic vent off the coast of Hawaii.It's mission: To find an environment that's roughly analogous to water worlds like Jupiter's moon Europa and Saturn's moon Enceladus.Vents on the seafloor can reach hundreds of degrees as upwelling volcanic material meets the ocean water.Although this dark, oxygen-poor environment might seem like a harsh place for life, organisms from bacterial colonies to thermophilic worms to heat-tolerant crustaceans can thrive by these volcanic vents—something scientists once thought was impossible.In space, it's possible that we may find little volcanic vents on the ocean floor of Europa, which is larger than Pluto, or Enceladus, which is a small moon believed to have a porous core of hot rock.The rocky cores of these worlds heat up due to gravitational interactions with their much larger home planets, possibly producing volcanic activity on the ocean floor similar to Earth.Both moons are prime targets for future NASA missions and eventual ocean exploration."Everything that we do has bearing on how we think and how we design these future missions," say Darlene Lim, a NASA Ames scientist who is the principal investigator of SUBSEA.Enceladus NASA/JPL-CALTECH/SPACE SCIENCE INSTITUTE The submarine will plunge down to Lō`ihi, a seamount off the coast of the Big Island of Hawaii.There, it will take observations at subcentimeter resolution of the topography, environment, and inorganic chemistry.The actual biological work will take place mostly through sample retrieval.The mission will be divided between an on-site team monitoring from the ocean above and a collaboration of laboratories across the U.S.Right now, the sub is not testing out new instruments but giving a dry rehearsal for future missions that will use primarily off-the-shelf technology."We’re interested in developing models to determine what we might expect in Enceladus," Lim says.Next year, the researchers will launch a similar mission with a twist.The team will impose a 24-minute communication delay between the sub and the surface."Next year’s work involves injecting a latency that will be Mars-like to see how that alters any of the decision making that’s been described and qualified the year before," Lim says.Subsequent missions could inch closer to
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Perseid meteor shower pictures: NASA captures stunning Perseids 2018 photo ahead of peak
THE Perseid meteor shower is officially here after brilliant fireball bursts were snapped by NASA as they flew over the USA. NASA’s telescopes in Daytona Beach, Florida, captured the first signs of the “celestial fireworks” before they peak this weekend. The annual Perseid shower starts around mid-July when the Earth approaches the rubble-filled path of Comet Swift-Tuttle. But the meteor shower does not fully awaken until around mid-August when the Perseids peak in intensity. This year, the Perseids peak between the night of Sunday, August 12, and the morning of Monday, August 13. NASA’s photo of the lonely Perseid meteor was snapped in the early pre-dawn hours Universal Time when viewing conditions are prime. The bright streak of light in the photo was snapped when the meteor sped at speeds of 132,000 miles an hour. According to the US space agency, the Perseids are well known for their speed and brightness. The photo comes courtesy of NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center Meteoroid Environment Office. NASA said: “The Perseid meteor shower is here! Perseid meteors, caused by debris left behind by the Comet Swift-Tuttle, began streaking across the skies in late July and will peak on August 12. The Perseid meteor shower is often considered to be one of the best meteor showers of the year due to its high rates and pleasant late-summer temperatures. “This year’s shower peak, however, has the added bonus of dark skies courtesy of an early-setting crescent Moon. “Combine these ideal observing conditions and high rates – an average of 60 meteors per hour at the peak – with the fact that the best nights for viewing – August 11 to 12 and August 12 to 13 – occur on a weekend and you have a recipe for successfully viewing some celestial fireworks.” The Perseids will be best seen on Monday morning around 2am local time, when the Perseid radiant is high up in the sky. But anyone deterred by the daunting hours will bee glad to know individual fireballs will start appear as early as 9pm local time when the skies are already darkened. Just bear in mind you will not see as many shooting stars this early as you would during the peak. This happens because all meteors associated with the Perseid shower radiate from one point in the sky, known as the radiant. The Perseids’ radiant is located near to their namesake Constellation Perseus. The Perseid meteor shower is here! NASA When observed from the Earth the meteors only appear to be bursting out from the constellation but in reality the Perseus has no bearing on the Swift-Tuttle debris. In a similar way the Geminid meteor shower in December appears to originate from the constellation Gemini. But not all meteors seen this month will be the Perseids and the odd shooting star might actually come from somewhere else. NASA explained: “While observing this month, not all of the meteors you’ll see belong to the Perseid meteor shower. “Some are sporadic background meteors. And some are from other weaker sho
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Five things you need to do to build a home on Mars
Ella and Nicki at the Mars Desert Research Station.Author provided If you had to live the rest of your life on Mars, what would you miss the most? Figuring out how we could we be comfortable living on the red planet is a challenge but with increasing discussion about how to send people to Mars with the ultimate aim of colonising the planet, how to replace the sensation of the sunshine on your face or the grass beneath your feet is prescient one.Luckily there is no shortage of expertise.On May 16, 2018, I organised a workshop at the University of Bristol in collaboration with local artists Ella Good and Nicki Kent to come up with a plan for building a Martian house here on Earth.The project is part of a large-scale public art work, with a plan to designing the house before building it in 2019.We have already identified five key things to do, taking inspiration from research facilities such as Biosphere 2 and the Mars Desert Research Station in Utah, US.To build a house for Mars, we are working with the architecture firm Hugh Broughton Architects, designers of the Halley VI British Antarctic Research Station.They say that the need for privacy and personal space in such a small living space is critical.This is an issue already experienced by those living in other small habitats.To best address this, a house on mars would have to have small private spaces within a small house and the houses could be grouped in clusters.In addition to a design that builds in personal space, having a purpose, task or gainful employment will be a key issue when it comes to the psychology of inhabitants.We know this from those who have migrated to any new home in another place (either willingly or unwillingly).On Mars, this could anything from geology to botany or maintaining equipment.Another key to space habitat design is to stay "closed loop".This means that as much as possible should be renewable or recycled: energy, fuel, food and waste.Living in space – and on Mars – is all about living efficiently.The parallel here with the technology that is already proving useful in the developing world is striking: we will need to grow food, explore and experiment, while recycling air, water and waste with as little energy as possible.Places that demonstrate living with scarcity, such as refugee camps, might actually help us come up with ideas for power systems and waste disposal that could be used on another planet.Solar power and composting made from treated human waste are good examples of closed loop techniques.As for how to actually build the house, James Norman's work as a civil engineer on different types of Earth constructions suggests that "Earth bagging" – a technique which uses local soil to fill sturdy sacks to build cheap but stable structures – may be the ideal method as launching building material from Earth would be prohibitively expensive.Bob Myhill, a geologist from the University of Bristol working on NASA's Mars InSight lander, confirmed that the method coul
First reliable estimates of highly radioactive cesium-rich microparticles released by Fukushima disa
The flooding of the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant (FDNPP) after the disastrous earthquake on March 11 2011 caused the release of significant amounts of radioactive material, including cesium (Cs) isotopes 134Cs (half-life, 2 years) and 137Cs (half-life, 30 years).Initially scientists thought that all Cs was released in soluble form.Now however, they have realized that a part of the released Cs was in the form of glassy microparticles, formed at the time of the reactor meltdown; these particles were thrown over a wide area, but until now there has been no reliable estimate of how much radioactive cesium-rich microparticles was deposited in the surrounding area, and how this material was distributed.Now a group of international scientists, led by Dr.Satoshi Utsunomiya (Associate Professor of Kyushu University, Fukuoka, Japan) has been able to give the first accurate estimates of the amount of the radioactive microparticles in the environment.This work describes the significance of the microparticles to current radiation levels, and provides fundamental data for a future re-evaluation of health risks from the highly radioactive microparticles which remain in the local environment."Most of the glassy microparticles are only a few microns in size, and were spread alongside the soluble cesium.The soluble cesium is generally bound to clay minerals after wet deposition, with the clay minerals also forming particles, so it was difficult to distinguish the cesium-rich microparticles from cesium absorbed on clay."said Dr.Utsunomiya, "However, we realized that the cesium-rich microparticle has an extremely high radioactivity ~1011 Bq/g compared with the much lower radioactivity for cesium-sorbing clay particles, and this can be used to distinguish the two types.So we have established a novel procedure to quantify the cesium-rich microparticles by applying a quantitative autoradiography method".Autoradiography exposes a photographic film or detector to a radioactive source, which causes the radiation to show up on the film (medical X-rays is the most common autoradiography technique).The team determined the threshold radioactivity for Cs-rich microparticles in the sieved fraction based on the relation between photostimulated luminescence signal and radioactivity.They applied this method to soil samples from 20 affected areas.Dr.Utsunomiya continued "In certain areas, these glassy particles are highly concentrated, so they are a major concern.We have found up to 318 of these particles in just 1 gram of soil, near the Fukushima Daiichi power plant.Most of these particles are still in the ambient environments, indicating the high stability.Since the Fukushima accident we have been gradually coming to understand how the microparticles were distributed, and what this might mean to health and the environment.As you would expect, there are more radioactive particles nearer the reactor: we believe that there was a proportion of cesium released as soluble mate
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Perseid meteor shower in pictures: NASA’s STUNNING Perseids 2018 photos snapped at peak
THE Perseid meteor shower erupted this weekend into hundreds of streaks of light crisscrossing the night skies. Here are the most stunning Perseid pictures shared by NASA. The annual meteor shower peaked between the evening hours of Sunday, August 12, and the pre-dawn hours of Monday, August 13. During the shower’s peak astronomers witnessed as many as 50 to 60 meteors brilliantly streaking across the night. Many of the colourful fireballs were captured on camera and shared by USA space agency NASA. The first photo shared by NASA was taken by photographer Qiushi Tian a few days before the peak. Titled Fireball over Mongolia, the photo shows a green-tinged trail of ionised gas around a lonely Perseid lighting up the night over Ergun in the autonomous region of Inner Mongolia. Another picture captured on the night of the shower was snapped by photographer John Colosimo over a period of 2.5 hours. The composite meteor photo shows about 10 Perseid meteors flying over Cape Canaveral in Florida, USA. Beneath the shooting stars in the far background of the photo you can also make out NASA’s Parker Solar Probe which blasted off on a seven-year trip to the Sun this weekend. Astrophotographer Derek Demeter snapped another incredible picture of the Perseids August from a different spot in Florida. The breathtaking photograph is composite of 10 20-second-long exposures taken during the Parker Solar Probe’s liftoff from the Kennedy Space Center. You can see two distinct Perseid streaks dashing across the starlit sky right next to the bright rocket trail of the Parker probe. NASA has asked for more photographers to submit their photos taken on the nigh of the meteor shower. The space agency said: “The best of images submitted to Astronomy Picture of the Day will continue to be added as they are received over the next few days.” NASA’s Astronomy Picture of the Day (APOD) website shares a different image or photograph of the fascinating phenomena occurring in the universe every single day. On August 12, APOD shared a picture of a green meteor streak dashing in front of the distant Andromeda Galaxy. The photo was taken near the Perseid shower peak back in 2016 by photographer Fritz Helmut Hemmerich. The meteor photo shows a sand-sized space rock flaring up and disintegrating as it slams into the Earth’s atmosphere. The stunning green colour surrounding the meteor is glowing ionised gas as the meteor vaporised. However, NASA said the unusual orientation of the meteor suggests it might have actually been a Delta Aquarid space rock despite showing up near the Perseid peak. A picture of the Perseids was also snapped by cameras onboard the International Space Station (ISS) as it orbits the Earth 15 times a day. The incredibly detailed photograph shows a lonesome Perseid burning up in the Earth’s atmosphere. The Perseid meteors are the cosmic debris broken off from Comet Swift-Tuttle as it orbits the Sun every 133 years. Every year between mid-July and
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This Meteor 'Exploded' Over Greenland, But Nobody Saw It. Here's Why It Matters.
A fireball that streaked across the sky above the Thule Air Base in Greenland on July 25 was notable for not only the 2.1kilotons of energy it released — the second-most-energetic "explosion" of its kind recorded this year — but also the stir it caused on social media and the frenzied calls it prompted to the U.S.Air Force.And the blazing rock — which was traveling at about 54,000 mph (87,000 km/h), about 74 times the speed of sound, according to The Aviationist — may have sent meteorites to the ground for passersby (the few people who happened to be this far north of the Arctic Circle) to discover.The first reports of the meteor above Greenland came from two tweets from scientists.On July 31, Ron Baalke, of the Solar System Dynamics group at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory (or "Rocket Ron" on Twitter), wrote, "A fireball was detected over Greenland on July 25, 2018 by US Government sensors at an altitude of 43.3km.The energy from the explosion is estimated to be 2.1kilotons."His tweet was followed by a similar one on Aug.1 by Hans Kristensen, director of the Nuclear Information Project for the Federation of American Scientists: "Meteor explodes with 2.1kilotons force 43 km above missile early warning radar at Thule Air Base."[Top 10 Greatest Explosions Ever] Apparently, the news reports that stemmed from those tweets led to a flurry of calls from reporters to both the air base and NASA asking about potential harm to the Thule Air Base, according to the Military Times.So, what's up with the fireball? Though meteors like this one are large enough to create a blaze when entering the atmosphere, they are not big enough to be seen before they plow through Earth's atmosphere."These objects are only a few meters across and smaller, which is too small to be detected before they strike the Earth," Robert Lunsford, a longtime meteor observer with the American Meteor Society, told Live Science."Therefore, we have no idea when and where such events will occur." When this Greenland meteor ripped through the atmosphere last month, some 750 miles (1,200 kilometers) north of the Arctic Circle, some sensors in the global network run by the base's 21st Space Wing detected it."As the meteor[s] enter the atmosphere, they ablate until they either completely disintegrate or remnants fall to the ground," Lunsford said."The shock wave generated by the collision with the atmosphere is the source of the 'explosion' and resulting estimate of impact energy." These objects are too small to cause much damage, unless someone gets hit by a fragment of the rock or if someone is near the sound blast, he said.That did indeed occur in 2013, when a 55-foot (17 meters) meteor struck Chelyabinsk, Russia.The shock wave from the impact smashed windows and damaged buildings, and more than 1,000 people were injured.For comparison, that fireball packed 300 kilotons of energy, or 20 to 25 times more energy than the atomic bombs dropped during World War II.Even so, the Chelyabinsk impact
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Researchers won't take dead orca calf away from mother as she carries it into a 17th day
"These are very intelligent animals, and the loss of this animal is quite profound for the matriline and everyone who witnesses it," said Sheila Thornton, lead killer-whale scientist for Fisheries and Oceans Canada.She saw Tahlequah continuing to carry the calf Tuesday as J pod traveled south to the outer coast of Cape Flattery, Wash.Ken Balcomb of the Center for Whale Research on Thursday saw Tahlequah still continuing to carry the calf, born July 24, for the 17th straight day.He estimated she has carried the calf more than 1,000 miles.The carcass is starting to come apart; the calf's insides were visible atop Tahlequah's head Thursday morning.Yet still she clings to the body of her baby."I certainly think the length of the situation is unprecedented," Thornton said."There are many species who do undertake this sort of behavior if a young animal has failed to survive, they will carry the carcass, you can look at that as mourning behavior." Several recent scientific papers and publications have documented grieving behavior in whales and dolphins, and scientists working in the Salish Sea have themselves witnessed similar sad sights of mothers carrying deceased calves.Because of the tight bond between Tahlequah and her calf as well as the bond shared by the rest of the pod there is no plan to take the calf away."That is not on the table," said Brad Hanson, wildlife biologist with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's Northwest Fisheries Science Center in Seattle.Scientists are worried that Tahlequah, or J35, is not getting adequate food because she has been carrying her baby for so long."We have obvious concerns about the displacement of her behavior away from foraging and feeding, to carrying the calf, and concerns over the length of time of this behavior as it continues, and the possibility of decreasing her ability to forage effectively," Thornton said.It is not known if her family is foraging for her and feeding her, Thornton said, and she could not get a good enough look at her from the water Wednesday to assess her condition.Because Tahlequah was pregnant, it is possible she began carrying her deceased calf with an extra boost of lipids in her blubber that could be helping her now, said Dawn Noren, research fishery biologist at NOAA's Northwest Center in Seattle.Dolphins she has studied have an extra-rich layer of blubber at pregnancy, to prepare for the tremendous energetic cost of lactation."The assumption is she could be fortified like a dolphin," Noren said."The other concern is that she might be food-limited." An adult female orca of Tahlequah's size could typically go for a month without eating and survive, Noren said.But what is unknown is her condition going into her pregnancy, and after the loss of it.One thing that is certain, Noren said, is that the work of pushing the calf day after day through the water adds physical effort to her burden of loss.Meanwhile, biologists and veterinarians mobilized Thursday in an atte
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China Launches the First Private Space Rocket
OneSpace Technologies conducted the main private rocket dispatch in Chinese history this week, shooting the 9 meter OS-X from a stage in northwest China on Thursday, as per CNN.The rocket is accounted for to have achieved an elevation of 40 kilometers and traveled about 273 kilometers from the platform.The ultimate objective is to charge under $10,000 a kilogram for freight, some portion of a general push from Beijing to help rouse the development of private space firms that can work independently from the aggressive China National Space Administration yet will likewise facilitate on some innovative work ventures if the need emerges.The OS-X rocket will gather information for an examination venture the startup is dealing with the Aviation Industry Corporation of China, a state-claimed organization.This is what was written by CNN.The organization said that it created OS-X over a time of one year.However, Hong Kong University of Science and Technology advanced plane design lecturer Xin Zhang told the news network he had questions if the rocket was unique outline work and OneSpace's $78 million spending drove him to speculate they used a couple of traps.Contender SpaceX needs to cut down the cost of space dispatches with reusable rockets and is by all accounts quickly realizing that objective with a progression of fruitful tests.OneSpace may cost essentially not as much as SpaceX, and it has yearnings of turning into the biggest little satellite dispatch organizations on the planet, yet as indicated by the Verge, OS-X is just equipped for conveying 220 pounds into space—a drop in the ocean contrasted with the Falcon 9's 50,000+ pound limit.It likewise utilizes strong rocket fuel, which means parts can't be reused after dispatch.Verge went ahead to state that the dispatch was an exceptionally real development however the organization has huge contenders including a portion of the individuals who are in China and level out of China.It's as yet vague if OneSpace can have a major effect with regards to little satellite markets.There are a lot of contenders who are focusing on the dispatch of little satellites from huge organizations like Virgin to little new companies like Rocket Lab to backbones like the Orbital ATK, which are all endeavoring to grasp the about a large portion of a trillion dollar worldwide business.It isn't yet certain whether the United States of America or some other western satellite organizations would purchase a ride on a OneSpace rocket.The United States of America government do put strict controls on the export of satellites, until a couple of years prior, they were named weapons.
Eclipse 2018 path of totality: Where will August solar eclipse be visible this week?
THE August partial solar eclipse will obscure the face of the Sun in just five days – but where is the eclipse’s path of totality and where will the Moon be visible? The August partial solar eclipse will take place on the morning of Saturday, August 11. The eclipse will only feature in the Northern Hemisphere this year, covering areas from Northern Europe to East Asia and Russia. Globally, the eclipse will last about three hours and 30 minutes from start to finish, on the dayside of Earth. The eclipse will kick off over the North Atlantic around 8.02am Universal Time (9.02am BST) before it reaches maximum eclipse at 9.46am UT (10.46am BST). The whole event will conclude by 11.30am UT (12.30pm BST). Where will the August eclipse be visible this weekend? Will there be a totality? Unlike a total lunar eclipse of the Sun, like the one seen from the USA on August 21, 2017, the partial eclipse will not reach totality this time around. Totality occurs during a solar eclipse when the Moon completely covers the glowing face of the Sun – the opposite happens during a lunar eclipse when the Earth covers the Sun as seen from the Moon. During a partial eclipse, however, only a small part of the Sun vanishes behind the Earth’s natural satellite. From the Earth, the eclipse will look like a black disc taking a bite out of the Sun without fully consuming it in darkness. But the spectacle promises to be breathtaking as it is and the shadow cast by the Moon and the Sun will still pass over swathes of the planet. The eclipse will begin over Greenland and the North Atlantic with the Moon’s shadow reaching Iceland and the northern tips of Scandinavia. After this, as the Sun travels across the sky, the eclipse shadow will extend in a long semicircle over the North Pole and into Asia. The shadow will brush over Northern Russia before settling on a path down the east of Asia through China, Mongolia and North and South Korea. By around 11.30am UT (12.30pm BST) the Moon will separate itself from the Sun after Japan, China, Mongolia and the Korean Peninsula fall into the nightside of Earth. According to NASA, getting to see a solar eclipse is a rare opportunity, but not because of how often it occurs but rather because of how limited it is. The space agency explained: “The Moon’s shadow on the Earth isn’t very big, so only a small portion of places on Earth will see it. “You have to be on the sunny side of the planet when it happens. You also have to be in the path of the Moon’s shadow. “On average, the same spot on Earth only gets to see a solar eclipse for a few minutes about every 375 years.” When is the next solar eclipse? The next partial eclipse of the Sun will peak over Northeast Asia and the North Pacific less than six months from now, on January 6, 2019. Soon after, the partial eclipse will be one-upped by a total lunar eclipse of the Sun. The total eclipse will peak around 7.34pm UT (8.24pm BST) over the South Pacific and South America. Stargazers
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Dementia breakthrough: Scientists watch ‘SPEED OF DEATH’ – study to help Alzheimer’s cure
SCIENTISTS have watched DEATH spread through a cell for the first time and measured how fast it travels in a move which could eventually help beat dementia and Alzheimer’s disease as well as cancer. Death spreads through a cell rapidly, scientists have discovered, and moves as if a wash of water takes over it. Cells go through something known as apoptosis, a sort of suicide known as programmed cell death (PCD), when the body needs to rid itself of old cells to create new ones. Researchers have found death cascades through a cell at a rate of three micrometres (0.003 millimetres) per minute – which is relatively fast considering just how small a cell is. The experts say to imagine how a cell dies, think of a wildfire that starts at a certain point and how it spreads outward from that point in an action known as trigger waves. The study is the first of its kind to watch exactly how a cell dies. Biochemist James Ferrell of Stanford University said of the research published in the journal Science: "This work is another example of how nature makes use of these trigger waves - things that most biologists have never heard of - over and over again. "It is a recurring theme in cell regulation. I bet we'll start to see it in textbooks soon.” While apoptosis is usually beneficiary to the body as it gets rid of ageing cells, it does not always stop healthy cells becoming cancerous. It can also work too hard and destroy surrounding cells, as is the case in neurodegenerative diseases such as Parkinson's and Alzheimer’s. The researchers say that if scientists are to rid the world of these conditions, then the understanding of apoptosis is key. To understand how apoptosis works, the experts took an egg from the African clawed frog and removed the cytoplasm – the material except the nucleus – and placed it in a tube. They then used a fluorescent protein that turns green when apoptosis occurs and watched it spread through the tube as the cells died. The next step of the research is to see how these trigger waves happen in the body’s immune system and how scientists can use the information to beat degenerative diseases. Mr Ferrell said: "We have all this information on proteins and genes in all sorts of organisms, and we're trying to understand what the recurring themes are. "We show that long-range communication can be accomplished by trigger waves, which depend on things like positive feedback loops, thresholds and spatial coupling mechanisms. “These ingredients are present all over the place in biological regulation. Now we want to know where else trigger waves are found."
How Fast Is Earth Moving?
As an Earthling, it's easy to believe that we're standing still.After all, we don't feel any movement in our surroundings.But when you look at the sky, you can see evidence that we are moving.Some of the earliest astronomers proposed that we live in a geocentric universe, which means that Earth is at the center of everything.They said the sun rotated around us, which caused sunrises and sunsets — same for the movements of the moon and the planets.But there were certain things that didn't work with this vision.Sometimes, a planet would back up in the sky before resuming its forward motion.We know now that this motion — which is called retrograde motion — happens when Earth is "catching up" with another planet in its orbit.For example, Mars orbits farther from the sun than Earth.At one point in the respective orbits of Earth and Mars, we catch up to the Red Planet and pass it by.As we pass by it, the planet moves backward in the sky.Then it moves forward again after we have passed.Another piece of evidence for the sun-centered solar system comes from looking at parallax, or apparent change in the position of the stars with respect to each other.For a simple example of parallax, hold up your index finger in front of your face at arm's length.Look at it with your left eye only, closing your right eye.Then close your right eye, and look at the finger with your left.The finger's apparent position changes.That's because your left and right eyes are looking at the finger with slightly different angles.The same thing happens on Earth when we look at stars.It takes about 365 days for us to orbit the sun.If we look at a star (located relatively close to us) in the summer, and look at it again in the winter, its apparent position in the sky changes because we are at different points in our orbit.We see the star from different vantage points.With a bit of simple calculation, using parallax we can also figure out the distance to that star.Earth's spin is constant, but the speed depends on what latitude you are located at.Here's an example.The circumference (distance around the largest part of the Earth) is roughly 24,898 miles (40,070 kilometers), according to NASA.(This area is also called the equator.)If you estimate that a day is 24 hours long, you divide the circumference by the length of the day.This produces a speed at the equator of about 1,037 mph (1,670 km/h).You won't be moving quite as fast at other latitudes, however.If we move halfway up the globe to 45 degrees in latitude (either north or south), you calculate the speed by using the cosine (a trigonometric function) of the latitude.A good scientific calculator should have a cosine function available if you don't know how to calculate it.The cosine of 45 is 0.707, so the spin speed at 45 degrees is roughly 0.707 x 1037 = 733 mph (1,180 km/h).That speed decreases more as you go farther north or south.By the time you get to the North or South poles, your spin is very slow indeed — it takes an entire
UK weather warning: World to experience EXTREME heat for next FOUR YEARS
SCORCHING heatwaves like the one we have just experienced will be with us annually for the next four years at least, scientists have warned. While many have appreciated the scorching weather across the British Isles over the past few months, it has left the UK facing a number of severe issues. Hosepipe bans have been enforced due to the drought which has also led to crop failures, with National Farmers Union president Guy Smith describing land as "being parched to the bone”. The heatwave has also added pressure to the NHS, with nearly “3,000 incidents of hospitals overheating” according to shadow health secretary, Jon Ashworth. However, it will be something that we may have to get used to. A new forecasting technique which allows meteorologists to see well into the future led scientists to the conclusion that average ground and sea surface temperatures around the world could be abnormally high between 2018 and 2022. This will lead to an increased likelihood of "extreme warm events”. The new technique is known as Procast (Probabilistic forecast) and it takes the usually irrational and chaotic behaviour of Earth’s weather systems and moves to simplify them in order to predict a pattern. Procast takes information from previous weather changes and adds it to a system to calculate the probability of them occurring in the future. To do this, researchers retrospectively looked weather systems during the 1990s and used the to accurately predict the global warming pause, or "hiatus", between 1998 and 2013. The scientists, led by Dr Florian Sevellec, from the University of Brest in France, wrote in the journal Nature Communications: "For 2018-2022, the probabilistic forecast indicates a warmer than normal period, with respect to the forced trend (of global warming). "This will temporarily reinforce the long-term global warming trend. "The coming warm period is associated with an increased likelihood of intense to extreme temperatures.”
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NASA poised to blast off first spacecraft to explore Sun
NASA's car-sized, $1.5billion Parker Solar Probe is scheduled to launch on a Delta IV Heavy rocket from Cape Canaveral, Florida during a 65-minute launch window that opens at 3:33 am (0733 GMT).By coming closer to the Sun than any spacecraft in history, the unmanned probe's main goal is to unveil the secrets of the corona, the unusual atmosphere around the Sun."We are going to be in an area that is so exciting, where solar wind—we believe—will be accelerating," said NASA planetary science division director Jim Green."Where we see huge magnetic fields that are passing by us, as coronal mass ejections make their way out into the solar system." Not only is the corona about 300 times hotter than the Sun's surface, but it also hurls powerful plasma and energetic particles that can unleash geomagnetic space storms, wreaking havoc on Earth by disrupting the power grid.But these solar outbursts are poorly understood."The Parker Solar Probe will help us do a much better job of predicting when a disturbance in the solar wind could hit Earth," said Justin Kasper, a project scientist and professor at the University of Michigan.Knowing more about the solar wind and space storms will also help protect future deep space explorers as they journey toward the Moon or Mars.The probe is protected by an ultra-powerful heat shield that is just 4.5inches (11.43 centimeters) thick.The shield should enable the spacecraft to survive its close shave with the fiery star, coming within 3.83 million miles (6.16 million kilometers) of the Sun's surface.The heat shield is built to withstand radiation equivalent to up to about 500 times the Sun's radiation on Earth.Even in a region where temperatures can reach more than a million degrees Fahrenheit, the sunlight is expected to heat the shield to just around 2,500 degrees Fahrenheit (1,371 degrees Celsius).Scorching, yes? But if all works as planned, the inside of the spacecraft should stay at just 85 degrees Fahrenheit.The goal for the Parker Solar Probe is to make 24 passes through the corona during its seven-year mission."The sun is full of mysteries," said Nicky Fox, project scientist at the Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Lab."We are ready.We have the perfect payload.We know the questions we want to answer." The tools on board will measure the expanding corona and continually flowing atmosphere known as the solar wind, which solar physicist Eugene Parker first described in 1958.Parker, now 91, recalled that at first some people did not believe in his theory.But then, the launch of NASA's Mariner 2 spacecraft in 1962—becoming the first robotic spacecraft to make a successful planetary encounter—proved them wrong."It was just a matter of sitting out the deniers for four years until the Venus Mariner 2 spacecraft showed that, by golly, there was a solar wind," Parker said earlier this week.Parker said he was "impressed" by the Parker Solar Probe, calling it "a very complex machine." Scientists have wanted to build a sp
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200-million year old Pterosaur 'built for flying'
Neither dino nor bird, pterosaurs—more commonly known as pterodactyls—emerged during the late Triassic period more than 200 million years ago and lorded over primeval skies until a massive space rock slammed into Earth, wiping out the dinosaurs and most other forms of life some 65 million years ago.The newly discovered member of the family, identified through remains found in northeastern Utah, had a wing-span of 1.5metres (five feet) and 112 teeth, including fang-like spikes sticking out near the snout.A jutting lower jaw suggests a pelican-like pouch, perhaps to scoop up fish and unsuspecting small reptiles."They are delicately framed animals that are built for flying," said Brooks Britt, a paleontologist at Brigham Young University in Utah and lead author of a study in Nature Ecology & Evolution.Caelestiventus hanseni—roughly, "heavenly wind"—is probably the most complete skeletal remains of a pterosaur ever found."Most pterosaurs bones look like road-kill," Britt told AFP, noting that there are only 30-odd specimens worldwide from the Triassic period which lasted some 51 million years.By contrast, the new specimen comprises dozens of intact bones and teeth, along with an entire brain casing.The wings are in fact skin membranes largely held up by the fourth "finger", or digit, of their forelimbs.Huge sockets suggest C.hanseni had "fantastic eyesight", said Britt.When not soaring in search of a meal, it walked on all fours with its wings folded vertically.The fossil remains are still encased in sandstone, but scientists generated accurate 3-D images and models of each bone using CAT-scan technology.The site where C.hanseni was unearthed, known to fossil hunters as Saints & Sinners, reveals a dramatic story of survival and local extinction in the face of climate change, the researchers said.The rocks it was found in were part of an oasis in a two-million square kilometre (775,000 square mile) desert covered with giant sand dunes."During droughts, large numbers of animals—including pterosaurs, predatory dinosaurs and crocodylomorphs—were drawn to the pond in the middle of the oasis, where they died as water dried up," said Britt.The result was a treasure trove of more than 18,000 bones and fragments from dozens of water-starved animals.C.hanseni is not the biggest pterosaur ever found, but was likely the largest of its era, especially for a desert environment.It also predates other desert-dwelling specimens by about 65 million years.Pterosaurs from the same period found so far came from ancient coastal areas in what is now Europe and Greenland.That the high-flying creatures were spread across much of the globe may have helped them survive the end-of-Triassic mass extinction, which wiped out half of the species on land and in the sea.
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Perseid Meteor Shower 2018 Peaks Tonight! How to Watch Online
The peak of the summer's best meteor shower – the Perseids– peaks overnight tonight (Aug.12), but you'll need good weather to see it .Just in case your night sky cloudy or hazy, you can check out the annual meteor shower on webcasts online by Slooh, NASA and the Virtual Telescope Project.You can watch the Perseid meteor shower webcast here, courtesy of the astronomy broadcast service Slooh.The 6-hour webcast begins at 5 p.m.EDT (2100 GMT) and you can watch it directly on Slooh.com.During the broadcast, viewers can use the hashtag #Slooh on social media to share Perseids photos, or to ask questions of the experts and astronomers on the show."The Perseids are my favorite meteor shower, and they'll be the best shower of the year with high rates of meteors streaking across the sky, and no moonlight to spoil the view," said Slooh astronomer Paul Cox in a statement."If viewers of our live coverage are lucky enough to have clear skies themselves, they should use Slooh’s commentary as their meteor watching soundtrack."[Perseid Meteor Shower 2018: When, Where & How to See It] NASA will also host a live Perseids webcast tonight using video from its all-sky cameras at the Marshall Space Flight Center.The webcast will stream live on the NASA Meteor Watch Facebook page.It will begin at about 9 p.m.EDT (0100 Aug.13 GMT) and continue through the predawn hours of Monday."The Perseids are best seen between about 2 a.m.your local time and dawn," NASA officials with the Marshall Space Flight Center Meteoroid Environment Office said in an advisory."If those hours seem daunting, not to worry! You can go out after dark, around 9 p.m.local time, and see Perseids.Just know that you won't see nearly as many as you would had you gone out during the early morning hours." You can also check out the Perseids courtesy of the Virtual Telescope project.Astrophysicist Gianluca Masi will start the broadcast live on Aug.12 at 4:30 p.m.EDT (2030 GMT)."This year, because of the excellent sky conditions .we will be broadcasting our live feed from [Italy's] Castel Santa Maria, where the local community is working on a very important project to restore the local, XVI [16th] century church, of huge historic and artistic value [that was] damaged by several earthquakes," Masi said in a statement.The Perseid meteor shower occurs when Earth passes through the path of Comet Swift-Tuttle, running into the stream of debris that the comet leaves behind.The meteors appear to emanate from the northern constellation Perseus.Technically speaking, the 2018 Perseids run from July 17 to Aug.24, but the peak is expected on Sunday (Aug.12).Skywatchers also have a new moon in the sky, so there won't be much moonlight washing out the faint stars.
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